Estimated reading time: 3 mins
As a senior citizen, staying fit and healthy is essential for well-being. Resistance training can be an effective way of helping to maintain muscle mass, strength and physical function; providing numerous health benefits in the process. Here I will explore why resistance training is vital for seniors, giving examples of how it can be used beneficially in everyday life.
First of all, it’s important to understand what resistance training actually is. Put simply, resistance training is any form of exercise that requires your muscles to work against a force; this could be weights or even your own bodyweight. It’s designed to strengthen and build up muscle mass while also increasing overall fitness levels. As we age, our muscles naturally become weaker and less resilient but fortunately, with the right kind of resistance training program tailored to individual needs, this process can be slowed down notably.
The potential benefits of regular resistance training for seniors are many and varied. From improved balance and posture to increased bone density and joint mobility as well as enhanced strength gains which can help make everyday activities easier. Such as getting out of chairs or carrying groceries. Regular exercise has also been shown to reduce the risk factors associated with chronic illnesses such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes while improving mental wellbeing too; reducing stress levels while boosting energy levels generally.
It’s worth noting that when starting out on any kind of exercise program as a senior citizen, it’s always best practice to consult with a doctor first before beginning any kind of physical activity. Particularly if you have existing medical conditions or aren’t sure about what sort of exercises would suit you best. Once given the green light, however, there are plenty of ways that you can start introducing some form of resistance into your workouts at home if desired. Either with free weights such as dumbbells or kettlebells, or alternatively using resistance bands (also known as TheraBands) which are a great way for those just starting out in fitness. Resistance bands are an easy way to get into exercising, without having too much strain on their joints initially.
For example; using these bands can provide additional support during traditional bodyweight exercises, such as squats or lunges. This will help keep good form throughout – something especially important when trying not to cause injury. Especially than existing conditions or physical constraints ,such as limited range of motion in joints, are a factor. You could even combine both banded movements, with free weight exercises, like bicep curls or chest presses. This depending on experience level and comfortability within the gym environment itself.
If however you don’t feel comfortable working out alone, then joining a local gym where memberships specifically tailored towards seniors may be available. This could prove beneficial. It will enable access not only to equipment but experienced instructors. They can show you how use machines safely, whilst also providing guidance on how best to structure your workouts around personal goals. These should be set out beforehand, which might include anything from increasing flexibility through to stretching sessions, right through to gaining more strength/endurance. This will help you perform daily tasks better than before!
If going outside isn’t practical either, then don’t worry, there are still plenty of options available online these days, thanks largely to advances made within technology over recent years – apps such as “Strength Training For Seniors” offer video demonstrations showing how to perform various exercises correctly, plus nutritional advice, alongside designing personalised plans based upon activity levels, so no need to worry about being stuck inside anymore!
Ultimately whatever route you choose take when engaging with resistance training, just remember to have fun doing so, since ultimately most successful programs come down to consistency plus the enjoyment factor involved – something especially true when ageing since sometimes pushing yourself too hard only leads to injuries, rather than the results hoped for! So why not give resistance training a try today to see just how much difference it makes to long term health?