A Answers (5)
Vonda Wright, MD, Orthopedic Surgery, answeredStrength training is an important part of weight management as we age. It is associated with increased energy requirements for rest, which means that you simply use more energy just to live if you have more muscle. How many more calories? Research in the Netherlands documented a nine percent greater calorie burn with resistance training. Even without diet changes, this will translate into lost pounds. A big bonus of strength training is also more effective insulin sensitivity for people with diabetes. The more muscle you have, the better your body responds to the insulin you take or make by lowering your blood sugar. A true weekly weight program can decrease insulin levels by 25 percent after a high-carbohydrate meal. Finally, strength training not only strengthens bone and increases muscle mass and strength, but the combination of these factors decreases the incidence of falls and thus osteoporotic fractures (fractures that occur because of weak bone).
Shameeka Williams , NASM Elite Trainer, answered
The benefits of strength training in older people are endless. But I will mention a few. As we age, our bodies need a lot more care. And strength training is key. Strength training improves bone health and muscle mass. Studies have shown that proper nutrition, supplements and strength training can help to slow down the wear and tear of bones and muscle. Strength training helps to speed up your metabolism and help you to maintain a healthier leaner body. Strength training helps to prevent disease. It is very effective for arthritis, and helps menopausal women increase their bone density. In other words, it may help prevent injuries. It also just makes you feel good. It may give your body that extra boost that your body may be looking for.
Carol Heitman - NASM Elite Trainer, NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered
Strength training becomes even more important as we get older. As we age, our metabolisms tend to slow down. There is also a loss of muscle mass and bone density.
The good news is…we can help reduce this decline by adding resistance training to our workout 2-3 times per week!
Some benefits of strength training include:
- Weight loss - muscle burns more calories
- Tone muscles
- Decrease chance of injury - stronger muscles will help protect joints
- Look leaner - muscle takes up less space than fat
- Increases bone mass
- Increase metabolism
Strength training has endless benefits for everyone. Your age may play a role in the amount of benefits but regardless, you will reap more benefits than not:
- Increased strength
- Increased bone density
- Increased flexibility
- Increase energy
- Increased immune system
- Strong heart and lungs
As it can be shown, exercise, especially strength training, will truly benefit individual of an older age.
Eric Olsen, Fitness, answeredNumerous studies show that older men and women who train for strength improve not only their muscular strength, but with it their ability to live more independent, fuller lives. Although physical activity of any type will improve strength, more intense activities, and particularly resistance training, are most beneficial. When older men and women incorporate strength-training into their exercise routines, even those who have been sedentary for years can achieve significant gains in strength, slowing the general decline in strength associated with age.
After one 12-week strength training program, for example, a group of adults aged 60 to 72 benefited from significant muscle strength increases: a 107 percent increase in the strength of the knee extensors and a 227 percent increase in the strength of the knee flexors. This increase in strength was accompanied by increased muscle size as well.
The benefits of strength training for even the very old have been well-documented. Harvard's Maria Fiatarone, for example, found strength increases of 174 percent among a group of men aged 86 to 96 after eight weeks of strength training. A study at the University of Maryland, extend these findings to show still more clearly that there is no age barrier to strength training and that the health benefits may be broader than previously thought. In one segment of the study, subjects in their sixties increased their lower body strength by 41 percent after 14 weeks of total-body strength training. In another segment, subjects whose average age was 59 increased their strength by 45 percent and their bone density by 3.8 percent, significantly reducing their risk of osteoporosis.
Find out more about this book:Lifefit: An Effective Exercise Program for Optimal Health and a Longer Life
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