Weighlifting isn’t just for the young, in fact, strength training for those over the age of 60 can contribute to better overall health and aging better. In fact, many would argue that strength training is essential for older adults to live a healthy lifestyle.
Resistance training for seniors can improve mobility, physical functioning, and performing daily activities while simultaneously helping to prevent injuries and falls. Additionally, according to the Mayo Clinic, other strength training benefits include:
It’s ideal for anyone over the age of 60 to check with your doctor about starting a strength training program before beginning. However, here are some safety tips to keep in mind.
Here are some great tips to get started.
If lifting weights seems too intense or intimidating begin with doing bodyweight exercises to learn proper form and reduce the risk of injury. Then when you’re ready to pick up weights, you’ll feel more confident.
Here are some exercises to begin with:
Once individuals turn 50 years old they will lose 1-2 percent of their muscle strength with each passing year. After 60 this number goes up to 3 percent. Strength training helps individuals regain the muscle they lost and helps their cells remain younger since exercise slows the cell aging process.
Additionally, strength training can help to ward off age-related muscle loss, improve mobility, decrease bone loss, and in many cases combat depression and cognitive decline.
The key for successful weightlifting for seniors to be mindful and kind to your joints. Prioritize full range of motion movements which teaches your muscles to control your body when it’s moving. Be sure to prioritize movements that don’t cause you pain and feel good to your body.
In addition to strength, it is advisable for older adults to include exercises that aid in balance, flexibility, and mobility, and range of motion. Your approach to your workouts should include a little bit of everything. Focus on full-body, multidirectional movements rather than isolating a certain muscle group.
When it comes time to warmups and cooldowns it’s you take the time to do them seriously. This is important because you as you age, you heal and recover slower from workouts than you did decades ago. Remember to give yourself extra rest days in general as well as more breaks in between strength training sets or workouts.