It’s a known fact that humans slowly start to lose strength after full development. The older we get, the more apparent the changes are. The loss of strength is closely associated with the gradual loss of muscle over time. The only way to maintain the muscle mass we have is to engage in resistance training. Strength training has benefits for both young individuals and older adults alike, but it may be even more beneficial for the more mature crowd.
What is strength training?
Strength training refers to any type of exercise that increases or maintains physical strength. Strength is the physical ability to do work. Often called resistance training, this type of exercise requires that you put some type of resistance on the muscles to stimulate their growth.
Muscles only grow when they break down and heal up. The microscopic muscle fibers tear when you perform resistance exercises, and they are repaired bigger than before to adapt to all that stress you have put on them. This natural adaptation of the human body allows your muscles to increase in size and get stronger with consistent workouts, good nutrition, and adequate sleep.
What types of strength training exercises are there?
Many variations of strength training exist. The most common is probably weightlifting. Weightlifting involves picking up or pulling heavy objects in order to stimulate the muscles. Bodyweight exercises are another popular type of resistance exercise. They can include push-ups, pull-ups, dips, standing squats, and many more. Resistance bands have also caught on in the recent years. They are made of an elastic material that works the muscles when stretched. When it comes down to choosing the right type for you, go by preference. Whatever is most comfortable and gives you the results you desire will do.
Why should I perform resistance exercises?
Resistance training is necessary for the building and maintenance of muscle mass. Without strength training, you will only begin to get weak and frail. This is because muscles require regular stimulation to keep their size and shape constant. The body does not naturally want to maintain a high amount of muscle mass because it takes a lot of energy to do so. You must consistently eat properly, do strength training, and get enough sleep in order to gain optimal results. Without one of these essential elements, it will be very difficult to build muscle and strength.
If your primary goal is to retain as much strength as possible throughout your later years, you should to try to build as much muscle as possible. The bigger your muscles are, the more work they can do. This correlation can be generalized as more muscles equals more strength. In order to build muscle most efficiently, you will want to use a lot of resistance during exercise.
What are the major benefits of strength training for older adults?
Bone mass decreases significantly during later life. This makes it easier to get fractures from falling and other forms of impact damage. With regular weightlifting, you can increase bone density over time to greatly reduce the risk of serious injury.
-Maintains healthy bodyweight
With more muscle on the body, your metabolic rate will increase a great amount to speed up fat loss. A higher metabolism means burning more calories when you are at rest. Since increasing muscle mass decreases bodyfat, you will likely stay at a much healthier weight this way. You also get the added benefit of having an attractive physique–something that is very hard to obtain and maintain in old age.
-More strength to live normally
Getting older usually means getting weaker and not being able to do the things you once enjoyed. You could even lose so much strength that performing basic functions like raking the leaves becomes a tiresome hassle. Doing strength training will keep you in great shape so that you can continue to enjoy the simple things in life without having to endure so much strain and pain.
-Healthy heart and mind
Intense strength training workouts are just as good for the heart as typical cardiovascular exercises like running and biking, but they typically burn even more calories. Not only that, strength training is a good way to release your pent-up anger and frustration. It can lead to lowered daily stress and increased overall mood.
James Zachary helps senior citizens live quality lives. You can find out more about thriving as a senior citizen with resources from Assisted Living Today.