As we get older it’s typical to turn our attention away from exercise and fitness activities. Life gets in the way. We have jobs to go to, a family to raise, perhaps a loved one to care for. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. The fact is, that as we get older it’s even more important to exercise than we realize. As a part of aging, we will all gradually lose muscle mass. This in turn will increase our risk of falling and fracturing a bone. That sort of mishap can be devastating to a senior’s mobility. It’s all about being able to move and get around as we age. If we can’t get around, our lives would change dramatically. Independence would be a thing of the past — no solo trips to the store or afternoons out with family and friends, no participation in leisure activities we once enjoyed, and a new dependence on family and friends to do things for us.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. According to a study in the American Journal of Medicine, seniors can combat muscle loss and actually become stronger as they age…even into their 80’s and 90’s. The answer is exercise, and in particular, resistance training. The increased agility and balance that results from exercise fights off the frailty that comes with age. In addition, strength training builds up bone and helps fight off the effects of osteoporosis.
It gets even better. Strength training can improve sleep quality, help diabetics with improved glucose control, and works like an anti-depressant for those struggling with depression. It even helps with managing the pain of arthritis. According to a study done by Tufts University, exercise decreases the pain of arthritis by as much as 43%. It’s all about quality of life. If we want to remain in our homes as we get older, we need to do whatever we can to make sure that we can move about easily and with a good sense of balance. It’s never too late to start a resistance training program. A study in New Zealand of women aged 80 and older who did resistance training showed a 40% reduction in falls. As always, before you start an exercise program, consult with your doctor. Have you begun an exercise program later in life? Share below and visit us at http://www.trilliumhomecare.com