PTD0116_WeightsDo the words “weight training” bring to mind sweaty 20-somethings in tank tops pumping iron? It may surprise you to hear that the group that benefits most from weight training is actually senior citizens, especially those who are sedentary or in poor health.

As we age, our muscles slowly begin to atrophy, a process called sarcopenia. Muscle atrophy progresses rapidly after the age of 50, when we start to lose about 10% of our muscle mass each decade. The result is a loss not only in strength, but also in balance and coordination, putting you at a higher risk for falls, injuries and a less-active lifestyle. The good news is that regular resistance and weight training can slow or even reverse this process, while helping reduce ailments that tend to strike in the second half of life, such as arthritis, osteoporosis and even depression.

Weight training is considered so important for older adults that the American College of Sports Medicine has come out with specific recommendations for this age group. Their advice:

  • Perform resistance training exercises two to three times per week to work the arms, legs and core muscles.
  • Use an appropriate weight that allows you to do 10 to 15 reps per session before becoming fatigued.
  • Incorporate both aerobic and strength training into your routine, with 20 to 60 minutes of aerobic activity three to five times per week, and 20 to 40 minutes of weight training two to three times per week.

Studies suggest that weight training after age 50 can reduce body fat, strengthen your bones and speed up your metabolism. But it’s important to begin cautiously when starting a weight-training program, especially if you’ve never participated in one before.

We can help you adopt a healthy strengthening program that is muscle saving and challenges your body without putting you at risk for strain or injury. Let us help you get started today, and before you know it you might be sporting a tank top of your own.

January PTEDigest Includes:

Exercise Helps Control Asthma
Can TENS Relieve Low-back Pain?
Build Up Your Middle to Reduce Knee Pain
Laying Down a New Surface on Your Shoulder

Download PTEDigest January 2016