Written by: Jason Abraham, Personal Trainer @ O2 Fitness Seaboard
Loss of strength and muscle mass is a normal part of the aging process. The old phrase “if you don’t use it, you lose it” comes into play as the physiological shifts occurring as the body (and mind) with age can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle.
Though we can’t stop the aging process, we can control the quality of our life as we age. An accessible means of fighting the negative effects of aging is through regular activity and exercise, specifically strength training.
Finding a Strength Training Program
A good strength training program, as provided by group fitness classes, such as Silver Sneakers MSROM can improve bone density, balance, cardiovascular efficiency, endurance, lean muscle mass, coordination, energy levels and overall strength.
Strength training can also help reduce the negative effects of health conditions common in seniors such as osteoporosis, arthritis, and lower back pain. All these benefits lead to improved functional mobility and quality of life.
Strength training involves stressing a target muscle past the point of regular use to stimulate a growth need. After a muscle system is stressed sufficiently, then the body rests, and rebuilds that muscle to be stronger than it was before. Strength training can come in the form of using free weights, machines, resistance tubes, stability balls, and even body weight.
Correct Form with Strength Training
Correct form is crucial in strength training exercises in order for the target muscle to be stressed without adding unnecessary stress on joints or connective tissue. Even if you’ve never exercised much before, it’s never too late to start a strength training program, and with new positive habits can come new possibilities in the realm of wellness. It’s advised to consult with a doctor before starting a new exercise program, and to consult with a fitness professional to help set up a program correctly.