A Strength Training Guide for Seniors
While aerobic training is important, so is strength training.
Don’t worry; you don’t have to work out so that you have bulging muscles. But, you do need to have some exercise regimen that incorporates building your muscle mass.
Strength training is actually the use of weights and movements that will increase the size and function of the muscles in your body.
Although some individuals only think of strength training as weight training, the two are completely different. You don’t want to over develop your muscle groups, but you do want to increase them in the way of health.
Increasing your muscle mass is important for a number of reasons. The key element will be to help you to maintain a healthy weight. You see, lean muscle mass, which is the type of muscle that you develop through strength training, is actually better at burning through stored fat.
It also is helpful at burning calories faster. The combination means that they can help you to get rid of stored fat that you have throughout your body.
In technical terms, when you add additional muscle mass to your body, it is able to be more metabolically active than that of the fat that is stored in your body. By increasing your muscle mass, you increase your metabolism as well.
That means that your body remains lean and trim, which is ideal for heart health as well as overall organ health. But, what if you don’t have weight to lose?
Even when you do drop to your ideal weight or if you are already there, it is still quite important for you to take care of this aspects for other health reasons. Lean muscle mass is important for optimum health. Your body, especially your muscles, are trim and they can then pump blood easier.
In addition, they are less likely to be injured or to develop problems later in life. The longer that your muscle groups are healthy, the longer that the rest of your body does well.
If you end up being in a sedentary lifestyle because of injuries and just lack of energy (something else that is a benefit from strength training) you can end up with countless health conditions that go along with it.
In addition to all of this, strength training also aids in keeping the heart strong. With the right training, you can increase the pumping power of the heart.
How much strength training you do depends on your needs for weight loss and your current muscle condition.
One of the best things to do to gain both this type of exercise as well as aerobic is to join a gym or visit your local recreation center where you can work out weekly.
With strength training like that of aerobic training, a regimen of three times per week is ideal for weight benefit and muscle training benefits. Keeping each of these functions of your body healthy is something that you absolutely need to do.
But, even with aerobic training as well as strength training, there is more that you’ll need to tackle to complete the entire exercise package.
Flexibility Training is Important Too
Believe it or not, you have to do your stretching. Stretching is yet another key function of improving your health and well being. One of the key reasons that you need to use flexibility training is that of keeping your joints healthy.
Did you know that the onset of arthritis can start any time after the age of 25 (even younger sometimes)? The arthritis that you feel now is only going to get worse and since it is a degenerative disease, it is likely to leave you with deformed, disabled joints.
But, with the help of flexibility training now, you can avoid these conditions all together. Flexibility training keeps you moving right. By stretching, you help your muscles to stretch and therefore keep them from getting hurt. Your muscles become lithe and limber. You can move like you did when you were in your 20s, accomplishing the things that you want and need to do.
When you increase your bodies ability to move in all directions, you feel younger and your body is actually improving in age, too.
Stretching and toning your muscles and joints is an important part of improving your overall health. With this type of training, you can keep your joints working optimally and you reduce your risk of strains, pulls and sprains significantly.
One of the most common complaints today from seniors is that of back pain.
No matter what you may have done to it or what you think is wrong with it, back pain is a very common condition that happens more and more as you age. But, when you add in a strength training workout to your exercise regimen, you improve the quality of those muscles and increase your spinals movement and flexibility.
You actually reduce the pain that you may be in and even prevent further injuries from happening to your back or hips, yet another common pain location for the seniors today.
A flexibility training regimen should be done at least 3 times per week for 20 minutes at a time. If you want to see rapid improvement here, you should try to do some form of stretching each morning and each evening. Just a few minutes of doing this will increase your bodies tone and flexibility and its a great way to start and end the day!
Pulling It All Together
Now, does all of that sound like it is just too much to do? It doesn’t have to be. In fact, really all you need is just 1 hour three times per week. Or, you can break apart these workouts to give yourself less of a lump of time commitment.
- 20 minutes of aerobic training for heart health three times per week.
- 20 minutes of strength training for muscle improvement three times per week.
- 20 minutes of flexibility training for movement and joint improvement, three times per week.
A great way to gain these benefits is to invest in a membership to a gym. To help you to get started, work with a personal trainer, telling them what your goals are. You don’t have to continue working with them but after a month or so of training, you’ll be able to do your workout routine on your own.
Just don’t falter from it or you’ll have to start all over again. For flexibility training, consider taking in a yoga class or another type of easy movement training. This too is something that you can learn and then do on your own if you would like to. When you do these things, you get to transform your life in so many ways.
Consider the people that you know that are over the age of 60. When you meet John and he shakes your hand, do you feel how weak and frail it is? Do you feel his bones and realize that this once very large and tough man is now frail and very weak. You may even feel like you could break his hand if you hold onto it too hard.
Is that the type of handshake that you want to give? Or, do you want to be able to firmly grasp someone ís hand and feel the strength coming through?
When you incorporate an exercise regimen like this, you can gain those benefits and so much more. In addition to this, exercise can actually help to improve your age.
Aerobic training as well as strength training helps to stimulate your body to produce growth hormone. This hormone is a key ingredient to improving the health of your individual cells.
Improving each of your cells is important in keeping yourself healthy longer. Therefore, when your body produces more growth hormone, it can actually reverse the aging that your body has already gone through. That ís because growth hormone actually can restore the health and the youth of each of your cells.
One important thing to realize from this is that through exercising, you can improve much if not all of the damage that you’ve done to your body over the years. You can restore your youth to a degree and then maintain it for some time to come. Exercise simply must be a part of your life. The senior requires this type of movement for benefits that come later on in life, too.