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February 20, 2023

Strength Training for “Older” People

Being strong is important at any age!

You lose 3-8 percent of your muscle per decade after age 30, making strength training even more important as you age.

But, we often come across people in their 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond that think it’s too late. I’ve even been asked, “Am I too far gone?” The answer to that is “NO!”

While it would be perfect if everyone started resistance training in their younger years and never stopped, it’s never too late to start…or get back on track.

Here are some facts:

  • Studies have shown that about 30% of adults over age 70 have trouble with walking, getting up out of a chair, or climbing stairs.
  • According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among adults age 65 and older.
  • While strength training is great for otherwise healthy older adults, what about those who are living with obesity? Dennis T. Villarreal, M.D., professor at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, has found that diet and weight lifting for older adults with obesity yields better results than diet or aerobic exercise alone.

Strength training helps you stay independent for longer. Daily tasks are easier. Strength training also helps to maintain your balance, resilience, and bone density. In addition, self-confidence, mobility/range of motion, mental health, and happiness are all reported to be higher among those who strength train.

Simply put: strength training gives you a greater quality of life.

If the gym is an exotic, foreign place for you and you don’t know where you start, here are some tips:

  • Seek out a trainer who will start with a movement assessment, a discussion of past injuries, and your goals.
  • Start small, even bodyweight exercises to start.
  • Focus first and foremost on movement quality. When that is dialed in, start to add weight.
  • Don’t overdo it. In the beginning, even one day a week can benefit you. Build from there.

Being strong is a choice! Don’t regret that you never started. It’s not too late!

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