5 Ways Seniors Can Benefit From Strength Training
Strength training for seniors is very important. It improves balance and flexibility, muscle strength and it also helps to preserve bone density. Strength training helps seniors to maintain their independence for as long as possible, no matter their level of fitness, gender or age.
Osteoporosis can affect the quality of life of a senior and it is one of the leading causes of frailty especially after a senior has had a fall. Strength training is one of the best ways to increase the muscle strength and the muscle mass of seniors. Strength training also increases the density of the bone.
When seniors start to weight train and do resistance training it helps to prevent any further depletion in their muscle mass. Strength training builds back the muscle mass that a senior has lost over the years. This will make the senior appear more toned and give them a younger appearance.
Falling is a major source of broken bones among seniors. This is why it is important for seniors to do whatever they can to improve their balance. Strength training will help to build a seniors abdominal core as well as their back muscles. This will give them a lot of spine support and enable a senior to keep their posture in a more upright position. This makes it less likely that they will lose their balance and fall down. Seniors should supplement strength training with other exercise such as walking and by using elliptical machines.
In order to increase flexibility, strength training should focus on exercises that work the full range of the joints. One of the best exercises for doing this is Yoga.
Seniors should be encouraged to stretch before strength training exercises. This helps to loosen up the joints. Muscle fibers have a tendency to shorten during workouts and stretching after exercise helps to cool off the muscle fibers and pull them back to their normal length. There are two main types of stretching. Dynamic stretching and static stretching. Dynamic stretching works the muscles back and forth in a full range of motion. Static stretching simply extends the muscles and holds them in position for very short period of time.
Seniors do not just have to use exercises that use body weights in order to improve flexibility and muscle strength. They can also use exercises that use weight machines and resistance bands as well as light free weights.
Seniors, should consult their physicians before starting any exercise program in order to prevent any form of injury.Strength training while beneficial must be done under proper supervision in order to be effective.