Resistance training in your older years can generate a wealth of health well into your late years of life. Have you noticed within the last few weeks yourself or even your friends starting to get injured more frequently? This could be due to some very common side effects that we suffer from as we get older. However, these can be readily improved as you start or continue to resistance train.
Does resistance training mean being that really buff guy at the gym with 500lbs on the bar? No. Resistance training can consist of readily available exercises at the gym, or even at your own home! Movements can include anything from walking, performing movements using only your body weight, or doing exercises with a basic pair of dumbbells.
Have you heard of the terms osteoporosis or osteopenia? Both of these essentially mean a loss of bone density. This has led to the geriatric population, 50 and up, having 250,000 hip fractures a year with the majority of them being hospitalized. With this statistic, we find that osteoporosis could be a main cause for this, as it brittles the bones and exponentially increases risk for bone fracture injuries. Through strength training we find that bone density increases by up to 3% while demonstrating an increased in slowed mineral loss in the bones. Not only does resistance training decrease the adverse effects of osteoporosis, it even reduces your fall risk, bone fractures and increase in muscle mass.
Resistance training can improve the physical qualities of life for the aging adult. So we know that there is a huge benefit to incorporating resistance training to our daily lives as we age. However, at this point you must be wondering how to introduce this into your workouts or even into your daily lives.
Through studies, it’s shown that free weights are more effective than using machines at the gym. Thus, this proves that adding resistance to our body weight movements will be the most effective. So, how can we incorporate this? If you have a membership to a gym then this will be easy. Simply utilize the free weight section instead of the machine for your exercises. Then to further the process of increased bone density, you should focus on the bigger muscle groups like the leg muscles, back and chest. Movements such as the squat and pallof press are great since you incorporate more muscle groups; you get more bang for your buck. This can also be easily progressed by increasing the amount of weight you use or even as simple as slowing down the movement. However, we understand that not everyone has access to a gym or feels comfortable going to one. Therefore, we recommend locating a Mobile Training Service for Seniors in your area that can bring weights, bands an accessories to your home. Utilizing these types of equipment in your routines will vastly increase the demands on the bones and muscles. Mobile Trainers can even work with a very minimalist set up and still achieve the same goal.
You can begin with simple movements like walking on a flat surface, walking on some elevated surface around your house like that step up from the garage door into the house, or stepping up and down the stairs. Then, you can slowly introduce more bodyweight movements like wall-squats with a slight knee bend and exercises from your hands and knees. Once you are have progressed past some of these more basic movements, you can advance to more difficult movements like planks, pushups, and squats. Going with our squat example, once you master your body weight you can hold on to a gallon of milk or start doing more reps. However, it's important to remember that an exercise like walking is still a great resistance training exercise as we have to support our body weight. On the other hand, cycling and swimming are not weight baring exercises and thus do not help increase our bone density significantly.
With these exercises in mind, a structured, scientifically sound program will help bolster the process of increased bone density and muscle mass. As it is with all of those who get into resistance training, safety and technique are critical to success. We strongly recommend utilizing the guidance of a trained professional when beginning your resistance training program. A Mobile training service will help you gain increased mobility and perform proper movement, ensuring a safer and more successful fitness journey. At mobile trainers we only care about you and getting to your goals. The goal of a quality mobile trainer will be to educate you, the client, to the point that the mobile training service is no longer necessary, because you will ultimately possess the tools needed for continued success.