Let’s face it, everyone gets older eventually. With age comes four common health issues that older adults face: osteoporosis/osteopenia, falling and balance issues, sarcopenia, and heart disease. Just because they are common doesn’t mean we have to roll over and accept it. Starting a strength training routine can help you prevent and manage these age-related issues.
Osteoporosis and Osteopenia are both conditions where you lose bone mass and your bones get weaker. Think of Osteopenia as a midpoint between having healthy bones and having Osteoporosis. For the average human, bone mass reaches its peak while you’re in your 30s and then will naturally start to decline. Osteopenia usually occurs after the age of 50 and can put you at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. With diet, exercise, and sometimes medication, you can help keep your bones strong and dense for decades.
Strength training can help to slow bone loss and studies have shown that it can actually help you build bone. Activities that put stress on your bones stimulate bone-forming cells into action. When you are lifting weights, the tug and push that occurs on the bones is what triggers this reaction. Super slow strength training is low impact on the joints while targeting the hips, spine, and wrists, which are all points that fracture easily and need the most support.
Around 55% of older adults have acknowledged they are afraid of falling, and that percentage goes up once someone has experienced a fall. Strength training is one of the smartest things you can do to help improve your balance which will help you prevent a fall.
Strengthening your core muscle groups will help to keep you upright. Your core muscles are more than just your abs. You have inner and outer core muscles. Inner muscles are those that are attached to your spine and help stabilize your core. Outer muscles are those that help you move your body. Both these groups work together to help you maintain balance. A certified personal trainer can help lead you through the right strength training exercises to keep your core strong.
Sarcopenia sounds scary, doesn’t it? Sarcopenia is just a fancy word for the natural process of losing muscle mass as we age. Studies have shown that adults who don’t add strength training into their workout routines can lose, on average, a half-pound of lean muscle tissue per year. The loss of muscle has the greatest impact on mobility.
The best steps you can take to help reduce the effects of sarcopenia are diet and exercise. Super slow strength training at least twice a week will encourage the growth of new muscle tissue, while also helping to reinforce existing muscle tissue by making it stronger.
Did you know that strength training for less than an hour a week may reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke by 40 to 70 percent? New studies suggest that weight training can be just as effective as cardio for protecting against heart attacks and strokes. The super-slow method of strength training helps to increase aerobic capacity in addition to building strength and flexibility. It also helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, can help control blood sugar, and can help you lose weight. All of these are important to keep in check when you are trying to prevent or manage heart disease.
Loyalty Fitness wants to help keep you healthy no matter how old you are! The earlier you start, the easier it is to prevent many of these age-related health issues. Our trainers are certified in super slow strength training and will work with you to help reach your fitness goals. Get started today!