Resistance training is any type of physical exercise that will cause you to use your muscles against an external force. Some examples would be running in water or lifting weights, also called strength training. If you are working against a force that resists your movement while exercising, then that is resistance training. Is this type of exercise safe for seniors and does it help them?
Resistance training has shown to be very beneficial for seniors:
- Improved muscle strength and endurance. Many of us find that as we age and lose our strength that carrying things becomes more difficult. With resistance training, our muscles become stronger and we notice an improved ability to lift and carry items.
- Enhanced bone density. One of our greatest worries as we age is loss of bone. It not only contributes to falls but also makes the result of a fall far worse than it should be. By using resistance training we can keep our bones strong, improve our balance and stand straighter.
- Assists in weight reduction. Resistance training helps you to build muscle and lose fat. While sometimes this shows up as a gain in weight, it is healthy muscle that is the cause of the weight gain, not unhealthy fat.
- Confidence and well-being. Those who begin resistance training and start to see their bodies become toned show an increase in self-esteem. Knowing that they can improve their health makes them more confident and because of this they feel better.
Resistance training has not been shown to endanger the health of seniors. Blood pressures and heart rates have been tested extensively over the last several decades and as of yet there have only been positive outcomes. Those who engaged in resistance training have shown an increased quality of life and healthier aging. To read more on seniors and resistance training, click here.