Our hope is that the residents at Discovery Village can enjoy life to the fullest, which virtually always involves keeping up with habits for good health. Exercise is never more important than during the senior years. A large volume of recent research has proven that strength training can greatly assist senior citizens with the common challenges of aging. Everyday activities such as preparing meals and climbing stairs are made easier as a result of strength training on a regular basis.
Getting the Most out of Exercise
In this series, four aspects of exercise are explored, those being stretching, balance, strengthening, and endurance. Each adds more to the quality of life of seniors. At every age, exercise is an essential component of vibrant health. The habit of exercise should be steady, however, and routine. The following are more tips for making exercise count:
- Stop-start routines of exercise are ineffective and can even be harmful, since you can get injured with this approach to exercise.
- As exercising goes, more is not always better. The philosophy of trying to do more than you should to make up for lost exercise time creates such problems as loss of lean tissue, setting plateaus of your fitness level, and causing strain to the muscles and tendons.
- Failure to maintain a balance of eating and exercise is often a problem. A mistake many people make when they develop an enthusiasm for one kind of exercise or another is neglecting healthy eating habits. Food cravings naturally develop as a result of calorie-burning exercise. Be prepared for to face the potentially negative trend created by exertion in exercise with positive food choices.
- Some types of exercise put too much strain on the joints. All seniors should consult their physicians about which exercises to choose and which to avoid, as far as protecting joint health.
The Importance of Strengthening Exercises
What is strength training? It is a type of physical exercise which focuses on the use of resistance in order to build the size, endurance, and strength of skeletal muscles. Strength training differs greatly from bodybuilding, and it is appropriate for all adults at all ages, though seniors should consult a physician before beginning any exercise regimen. Because it is normal that we lose muscle strength as we age, strength training is particularly beneficial for seniors.
Benefits of Strength Training
In addition to lessening the pain and difficulty of performing everyday tasks, strength training has other benefits. In fact, strength training can profoundly impact a senior’s mental, physical, and emotional health.
The following are among the signs and symptoms of various chronic conditions and diseases that are frequently reduced with strength training:
Osteoporosis – Bone density is increased and the risk of fractures is significantly reduced among women between the ages of 50 thru 70, with regular strength training.
Sleeplessness – Research shows that people of every age experience an improved quality of sleep when they engage in strength training. Many seniors welcome the idea of being able to fall asleep more speedily, enjoy a deeper sleep, awaken less frequently, and sleep longer.
Obesity – Strength training is essential to weight control because metabolic rates are higher among those who have more muscle mass. Metabolic rate can be increased by up to 15% with these types of exercises, which contributes enormously to long-term weight control as well as weight loss.
Arthritis – Recent studies discovered that elderly men and women who completed a program of strength training experienced a 43% decrease in pain caused by moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis. It was found that strength training exercises yield more effective results than medication in reducing the pain of osteoarthritis. Similar results were found in tests with seniors suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Depression – Strength training is also found to be as effective as taking anti-depression medication, among patients dealing with depression. Of course, exercise is healthier than taking medications; and strength training causes a beneficial biochemical change in the brain. Seniors often enjoy improved self-esteem and self-confidence as a result of strength training.
Diabetes – Type II diabetes is affecting an alarmingly increasing number of people in the U.S. today. This serious disease has devastating effects, including causing blindness in older seniors. Fortunately, lifestyle changes can greatly improve the prognosis of seniors suffering from type II diabetes. Strength training is essential because it dramatically improves glucose control in a way comparable to taking medication for treatment of the disease.
Examples of Strength Training Exercises
Progressive resistance training (PRT) is an ideal way for seniors to approach strength training. PRT can be achieved with:
- Elastic bands,
- Exercise machines, and
- Free weights.
The key to the success of these exercises is to start out at an appropriate level of difficulty, so as not to cause physical damage, and slowly progress as the muscles strengthen.
The Discovery Village retirement community provides many opportunities for achieving good health, including providing facilities which accommodate strength training.
Discovery Village At Naples offers a variety of senior living programs to keep seniors healthy and active. Learn about our senior living options and amenities today when you contact us at 239.309.7728.