Participation in a regular exercise program is an effective way to reduce and/or prevent a number of the functional declines associated with aging. Older adults have the ability to offset the loss of muscle mass and improve functional capacity through both endurance and strength training.
The loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) is well documented in older adults, and the consequences can be substantial. Falls, fractures, impaired ability to regulate body temperature, decreased metabolism, etc, are all consequences of sarcopenia. By age 50, about 10% of muscle area is lost. After age 50, the rate accelerates significantly.
By adding a resistance training program, older adults can make significant gains in strength. It is essential to learn proper form and include all the major muscles in the body when putting your exercise program together. This program can be as simple as using rubber exercise bands, or as elaborate as using state of the art equipment in a gym. There are a number of additional benefits from senior exercising, including:
- A two- to three-fold increase in strength in three to four months
- Improved bone health and a reduced risk for developing osteoporosis
- Improved posture and stability
- A reduced risk of falling
- Increased flexibility and range of motion
- Strength training will improve your functional capacity and quality of life!
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