Have you ever seen a 70 year-old man or woman struggle to get out of a chair and stand-up? That does not have to happen. Don’t let it happen to you. Do RESISTANCE TRAINING.
What is Resistance Training?
Resistance training (sometimes called strength training) involves the performance of exercises to improve muscle strength – sometimes called strength training. Resistance training can be performed any number of ways including the simple use of one’s own body weight. The more common methods of resistance training involve the use of machines, weights, or resistance bands. As greater resistance or higher loads are lifted the higher the gains in muscle strength.
Why Resistance Training is Important?
The older we become the more important resistance training becomes. The reason for that is as we age we tend to lose muscle and muscle strength. This loss of muscle is called sarcopenia. This loss in strength is in part related to a general lack of muscle use commonly seen as we age, but it is also related to declining hormone levels especially testosterone, DHEA, and growth hormone. Declines in these hormones adversely affect men and women as they age.
Carrying out our activities of daily living requires a certain threshold of muscle strength – getting out of chair, climbing a flight of stairs, moving a piece of furniture, assisting another person, for example. As simple or basic as these activities seem, they become increasingly challenging with aging. Don’t let muscle weakness affect your quality of life.
The Benefits of Resistance Training
There are far more health and fitness benefits of resistance training than is appreciated. Below are some of the benefits.
- Improved quality of life
- Improved muscle strength
- Improved balance
- Improved bone density
- Improved blood glucose and insulin sensitivity
- Improved body composition
- Decreased cardiovascular risks
- Reduces risks of falls.
Strength training improves muscle strength which improves overall quality of life. Because we become physically stronger we can do more things and do the activities we enjoy for a longer period of our lives.
With improvement in core muscle strength (lower back, hips, and gluteal muscles) balance frequently improves reducing the risk of fall and injury. Falls are the leading cause of accidental injury in the elderly.
Strength training is one of the best ways to improve bone density. Stronger muscles mean stronger bones. This is one reason why resistance training is important for women who are at higher risks of developing osteoporosis than men.
A major of benefit of resistance training in the elderly is prevention or reduction of falls. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among adults age 65 and over.More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, typically from falling sideways.
Resistance training improves glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity reducing the risk of diabetes and facilitating its treatment. By improving insulin sensitivity body weight (body fat) can be better managed. Insulin receptors become more efficient connecting with glucose with resistance training. In addition, muscle growth or hypertrophy is a stimulus for the production of more insulin receptors.
Strength training positively effects blood pressure when done properly. This along with better blood glucose control, and healthier body composition associated with strength training lowers overall cardiovascular disease risk.
So do not resist it. Add resistance training to your exercise program and live a healthier and more productive life.
Article updated on 12/22/22. Originally published on 5/17/13.