The loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs with age increases seniors’ susceptibility to serious injury. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, a senior fitness program that combines strength training with aerobic activity can reduce or prevent age-related functional declines–one of several reasons why your senior loved one should pick up the weights. Here are a few others, presented by Home Care Assistance of Toronto.
Increased Bone Mass and Density
A loss of bone mass and density increases the risk of developing osteoporosis and other joint disorders later in life. Resistance and weight-bearing exercises offer added protection against fractures and sprains while compensating for the age-related decrease in bone density.
Regular strength training helps improve flexibility and range of motion for seniors. Improved flexibility makes it easier for seniors to perform everyday tasks like walking and reaching.
Reduced Body Fat
While there’s research suggesting that seniors may have greater leeway with body fat than their younger counterparts, excessive body fat does increase the risk of developing conditions like heart disease and diabetes. One study involving seniors found an average 4-pound fat loss after three months of strength training.
Lower Resting Blood Pressure
Resting (systolic) blood pressure is a better indicator of heart disease risk in seniors, with numbers exceeding 140 considered high. Over time, strength training coupled with a sensible diet can naturally lower systolic blood pressure.
Less Lower Back and Arthritis Pain
Lower back pain and arthritis are two of the leading causes of physical disabilities among older adults. Strength training can increase the strength of muscles, tendons, and joints to reduce or eliminate back and arthritis pain in seniors.
Seniors can benefit from all levels of strength training, with the standard recommendation being at least 2-3 sessions per week. As is the case with any type of regular activity, seniors should check with their doctor first. Strength training can be incorporated into an existing fitness routine, or performed in a supervised setting under the direction of a licensed physical therapist.
To learn more about promoting senior health, reach out to Toronto Home Care Assistance at (416) 488-8777 and speak with an experienced Care Manager. We utilize the Balanced Care Method, which focuses on a healthy mind, body, and spirit, in all of our care services, including Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s home care in Toronto. Call today. We look forward to hearing from you.