A lot of older people are intimidated by the hoard of sweaty tattoo covered beef busses that litter the weights area of the gym and tend to stick to walking in a half hearted way on the treadmill or stretching in a corner somewhere. This is a mistake as resistance training is extremely useful at preventing bone conditions, maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system and correcting posture in seniors.
Let’s begin by dispelling a myth: there is no age limit when it comes to weight lifting. Just because your hair is grey doesn’t mean you have to retire from dumbbells. You can even gain muscle mass, albeit not as quickly as the younger bucks in the gym, but still at a rate that will show significant results in a year.
Additionally senior people who lift weights frequently increase their metabolic rate by as much as 25% per year, meaning that they won’t be as likely to gain weight and suffer consequent spinal problems.
Certain degenerative processes associated with ageing are unavoidable. Among these is the spine’s tendency to become increasingly curved. There isn’t much you can do about the shape of bones, but with effective back muscle resistance training you can slow or even halt the process. Whereas the spine will want to curve, the muscles around the shoulder blades and mid back area will resist and pull against this change.
Similarly training the leg muscles can minimize wear and tear in the knee joint. These strengthened muscles will then act as dampers to the impact experienced whilst walking and running, rather than each jolt being translated directly to the knee.
A lot of problems associated with ageing arise as a result of fractures experienced during a fall. These types of injuries can be made a lot less severe by building muscle tissue around the joints. In fact, all of the conditions associated with old age, such as increased blood pressure, poor stability and skeletal degeneration can be diminished by hitting the weights area in an intelligent way. The best way is to find a trainer with experience in training seniors and get started on a tailored program.