Realize the full-body benefits of weight training for mature adults.
As long as your doctor says it’s okay, incorporating safe and healthy exercises like weight training into our daily lives is one way to promote physical health and wellbeing at any age. From building muscle to improving balance, weight training can be particularly beneficial throughout the aging process. Here are just a few possible weight training benefits for seniors:
- Improves balance and endurance
- Increases strength and muscle mass
- Helps manage weight
- Reduces some age-related symptoms
- Helps improve sleep
Learn more about each of these full-body benefits of weight training below.
Improves your balance and endurance
One benefit of weight training for seniors is improved balance, as noted in this study that identified marked improvements in seniors’ balance after participating in a weight training program. Another study found that weight training impacted endurance levels too. Senior participants could walk almost 40% further than before without a rest after 12 weeks of weight training. Balance and endurance are especially crucial for seniors in reducing fall risk and maintaining independence in the years to come.
Increases strength and muscle mass
A comprehensive weight training program involves all of the major muscles of your body – the chest, back, shoulders, legs, and core. By consistently working these areas, you can build strength and muscle mass, which can help increase your confidence and motivation to continue an exercise program that’s suitable for your body.
Helps you manage weight
While lifting weights may not burn as many calories as a cardio routine, it can help rev up your metabolism. One study in the Journal of Applied Physiology even found that older men and women can increase their metabolism by about 100 calories after only six months of strength training. Combining weight training with a healthy diet that incorporates plenty of fruits and vegetables is a simple and effective way to lose or maintain your weight.
Reduces some age-related symptoms
Weight training may also help reduce the symptoms of age-related arthritis and osteoporosis. By strengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around your joints, you can potentially reduce pain and improve your range of motion.
Helps you sleep better
Weight training also has an impact on your sleep schedule. Some studies suggest that this form of exercise can help seniors sleep longer and better at night. Because adequate sleep does everything from improving your mental health to boosting your immune system, it’s important to get enough Zzzs every night. Find more helpful tips for getting a better night’s sleep on our blog.
With so many weight training benefits for seniors, you may be tempted to get started right away. Before doing so, check with your doctor first. Then, visit your local senior, community, or fitness centers to find a weight training classes or instructor near you. For more health and wellness research and tips, continue to our blog.