According to the National Center for Health statistics, only 20%, or thereabout, of older women do strength training.
A study by the University of Buffalo on 46 women aged 60-74 and 75-90 concluded that, strength training is optimal, and in most cases, essential to healthy aging. The researchers found that seniors who were inactive in the past, and suddenly undertook an intense, regular, physical activity, greatly improved mobility.
As we come of age, several functional and physiological abilities decline. And that contributes to increased disability, frailty and falls. Which is why, as you age, you must take action and put effort to improve your overall health.
Even so, 80% of American adults do not engage in sufficient physical activity to attain the required guidelines. Generally speaking, inactivity and sedentary lifestyle are hazardous to health, especially for the seniors.
Resistance training has for long proven to be critical to all aspects of health: from brain function to support in diseases such as arthritis and Parkinson’s.
It’s sad to note there’s a massive misconception that women should avoid weight-lifting and instead spend their gym-time smiling with the cardio machines.
Essential Strength Training Moves for Older Women
All women, regardless of their age, should do strength training exercises in some form but recruiting the expertise of a personal trainer is strongly recommended for a safe, unique and tailored approach. As a woman, you should do more than just staying “active” if you desire to remain strong and healthy. And yes, part of it is more likely to be lifting weights or using body weight for resistance training.
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Beginner’s Dumbbell Workout
Do this workout 2-3 times a week to build muscle and strength. Completed in about 15 repetitions, three sets of each exercise, but this depends on your strength. Exercises include goblet squats, deadlifts, chest press, single arm rows, and overhead press.
Fortify your biceps with curls, and target leg muscles with leg curls and leg extensions. To strengthen chest muscles, perform chest presses, standing flies, and incline presses.
Also, strengthen your shoulder and back muscles with seated pull-downs, shoulder presses, lateral raises, back extensions, and frontal raises.
Other highly-recommended exercises include: squats, forearm plank, sun salutations, and pushups.
What Are the Benefits of Weight Training for Older Women?
Enhances Muscle Mass
The mass of the lean muscle decreases naturally as we age, and it’s faster for those who lead a sedentary lifestyle—they lose an average of 5.5% every decade. Do endurance training to slow down the rate of muscle loss and increase your resting metabolism by approximately 7%.
Decreases Body Fat
Strength training decreases the quantity of intra-abdominal fat, subcutaneous fat, and visceral fat masses. The sturdy exercises also increase metabolism. A study showed that 10 weeks of training, increased the median metabolic rate by 7% that helped participants lose up to 1.8 kilos of fat.
Weighty training stimulates the production of isrin hormone. Isrin converts metabolic inactive, bad, white fat into a fat burning, good, brown fat.
Lowers Risk of Chronic Diseases
Strength training has been shown to reduce the symptoms of chronic illnesses. Resilient training manages the side effects of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
Increases Bone Density
According to Time Magazine, 10 million Americans are affected by osteoporosis, and 8 million of them are women. It’s about time to change this statistic.
As women advance in age, they become more susceptible than men to osteoporosis and bone loss. This is because, naturally, their skeletons are lighter than those of men. Reports show that, strength training can help add bone density and prevent the process of bone loss.
Improves Mental Health
Memory loss is often associated with age advancement. Across the world, every 4 seconds a new case of dementia pops up. According to a Harvard report, 115 million people will be affected by the disease in 2050.
As we age, the chances of becoming depressed increases as self-confidence goes down. Studies show that strength training can boost self-belief.
There is proof that weight training was able to reduce depression and its symptoms in wheel-chair bound senior women with dementia. Increasing strength training and quitting sedentary lifestyle has also been shown to enhance performance scores on mental health composite assessments.
Generally, sturdy training has shown to improve the overall mood and significantly reduce fatigue levels, in addition to lowering tension.
Keeping It 100% Real
However, if you are new to powerlifting, it’s advisable you start with flexible, and slow activities. As a senior-beginner, your goal should be to work out regularly. And you improve your strength and fitness capabilities.
Research has it that, strength training to seniors when done consistently builds up muscle and bone. Over and above, it counteracts the fragility and weakness that ordinarily comes as we age.
In addition to organized exercise don’t forget that the human body is designed for walking, running, climbing, lifting, gathering food, jumping, squatting, crawling, sex, hunting and swimming.
Life isn’t designed to be static, reconnect with your bodies desire to move and find more ways to do this in nature.