If you or someone you love is 65 or older and looking for safe, natural ways to decrease fall-risk and improve balance and flexibility, look no further! Strength training is your answer. If you are not already participating in a strength training program you may find yourself ready to start after reading this post. Read on to learn about all the incredible benefits of strength training for older adults.
Cardio vs. Strength Training
Before we get into the benefits of strengths training for older adults, we want to first quickly explain the separation between cardiovascular (cardio) conditioning and strength training.
- Cardio: The goal of cardiovascular conditioning is to improve the health of your heart. These types of activities are aerobic, which means it relates to how efficiently your body uses and moves oxygen.
- Strength: Strength training involves anaerobic activities. These activities do not improve the heart’s efficiency. Rather, strength training uses stored energy sources (rather than oxygen) to accomplish difficult tasks performed in short bursts.
Both have benefits and – in a perfect world – a person will incorporate both throughout their week. If you don’t currently have an exercise plan, CPI has Bedford doctors accepting new patients (locations also in Benbrook and Lewisville) who can help you create a safe, balanced program.
Benefits of Strengths Training
While strength training is beneficial at any age, it is especially beneficial for older adults. It specifically targets many of the challenges that occur once our bodies reach the age of 65+. For example, strength training has been known to offer the following:
- Increased bone density
- Decreased risk for osteoporosis
- Improved joint protection
- Improved balance
- Reduced fall-risk
- Increased flexibility
And this is just the short list! There are many more benefits that can be seen with consistent, long-term strength training. Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic doctors in Bedford TX (locations also in Benbrook and Lewisville) to learn more.
Recommended Types of Strength Training
Before beginning any type of strength training program, be sure to consult with a member of your care team. This is especially true if you are an older adult with a chronic pain condition. Your specialist will be able to provide you with a list of strength training activities specific to your needs.
Some of the general top recommended strength training activities for those 65 and older include:
- Push ups
- Bicep curls
- Tai Chi
- Walking with lunge intervals
For a specific guide to getting started, setting smart health goals and other strength-training specific insight, you can download this free Strength Training for Seniors guide from the CDC.
What NOT to Do
With safety being the priority, we also want to offer two suggestions for what not to do as you begin your strength training journey.
- Do not “max out” on your first week. Start small – especially if you haven’t done strength training in a while. Even if you think you can easily lift 10lb hand weights, start with 5lb hand weights for the first week to allow your body time to adjust to a new routine.
- Do not expect to see results overnight. If you are doing things the right way, progress will build slowly over time. Be patient and, before you know it, some of the daily tasks that used to cause you grief will become noticeably easier.
At CPI, we care about creating a pain management plan that improves your whole quality of life. Whether you are an older adult seeking help with beginning a new strength training program or a teenage athlete with a sports injury (and everything in between) we are here for all your orthopedic and chronic pain needs. Schedule an appointment at one of our three convenient Texas locations today!