For many older adults, the idea and the process of aging normally involves a lot of fear.  This fear can be due to the idea of a reduced life from loss of fitness and disease that many people seem to think comes naturally with age.  But does this need to be the case?  The frailty and decreased energy that we associate with aging, such as difficulty doing the gardening, loss of confidence driving a car, not being able to stand tall and walk properly, fear of falling, loss of independence and increased chances of disease is greatly due to muscle loss.  The stronger you are in your body, the more confidence and energy you will have.  This will make daily life a lot more enjoyable and safe as you will have the power and energy to do what you want to do with ease.

One of the best ways to keep your body and mind strong is with strength training.  Not only does it build muscle and strengthen bone, lifting weights a couple of times a week will also benefit people with other medical concerns:

Arthritis-Reduces pain and stiffness, and increases strength and flexibility to the joint.  Functional movement is the number 1 drug for arthritis sufferers.

Diabetes-Improves glycemic control.

Osteoporosis-Builds bone density and reduces risk of breaking a bone if you fall.

Heart disease-Reduces cardiovascular risk by improving lipid profile and overall fitness.

Obesity-Increases metabolism, which helps burn more calories and helps with long-term weight control as the more muscle you have the more your body burns fat at rest.

Back pain-Strengthens back and abdominal muscles to reduce stress on the spine.  Also strength training helps to keep better posture as you age.

 Depression-Exercise increases the Serotonin levels in the brain.  This helps to elevate our moods.  Also you will have a more toned body so you will feel happier within yourself.

Just seeing this makes it very apparent that strength training along with cardio exercise will greatly effect a person’s mental and emotional state.  People that exercise regularly will also sleep better.  And you all know that a good night sleep will make our next day easier to enjoy with increased energy and also make us more stable on our feet which reduces the chance of falling.

It is never too late to start a strength training program, all it takes is some motivation, dedication, a little knowledge of correct technique, and you are on your way to a happier more enjoyable life.



Amber Schuecker