Older adults are always encouraged to participate in aerobic exercise like walking for heart health. Now, a growing body of research finds that strength training may be even more important. Along with supporting heart health, weight lifting and resistance training can help elderly people fight age-related muscle loss, decreased bone mass, and even reduce the pain of arthritis. Here, Caledon Home Care Assistance covers a few important reasons seniors should start a strength-training program designed for older adults.
1. Reduces symptoms of chronic conditions
Strength training becomes increasingly important with age. Resistance training can reduce the symptoms of many common conditions that affect elderly people such as back pain, osteoporosis, diabetes, arthritis, and osteoporosis among others.
2. Improves bone density and lowers the risk of fractures
More than half of all people over the age of 80 experience at least one fall each year. Falls can be very dangerous to older people, especially women, due to decreased bone mass. Post-menopausal women can lose up to two percent of their bone mass each year due to hormonal changes, but strength training can boost bone density and lower the risk of fractures.
3. Improves sleep quality
Research has found that people who exercise often have better sleep quality, which means waking less often, sleeping more deeply, falling asleep faster, and sleeping longer. In fact, strength training produces the same sleep benefits as prescription medication without the potential side effects.
4. Treats depression as well as medication
Surprisingly, strength training has been found to produce similar improvements in depression as antidepressants, although it’s unknown if it’s because the workout produces a biochemical change or because it just causes seniors to feel better as they get stronger physically.
5. Improves symptoms of arthritis
Many elderly people experience the pain of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis every day. Strength training improves arthritis symptoms in several ways by building muscle to protect the joints and boosting flexibility and strength to reduce strain on the joints. According to a major study, strength training can decrease arthritis pain by 43 percent while improving general physical health and decreasing disability.
Learn more about promoting your senior loved one’s overall wellness by reaching out to Home Care Assistance at 905-951-8885. As a leading provider of live-in, part-time, and respite care Caledon families trust, we make senior wellness our top priority. Call today. We look forward to hearing from you.