There are more and more seniors who actively try to strengthen muscles by lifting weights. But it still seems unconventional. It’s uncommon, and some say it’s even weird. But indeed, pumping iron is beneficial, even for seniors. So let’s look at the facts and see the benefits of seniors lifting weights.
What Lifting Weights Do
What does weight lifting do? What are its benefits? Quite a lot.
The most apparent benefit of curling a few pounds is a more pronounced bicep. The most evident result of bench pressing is a more developed chest, shoulders, and triceps. The point is, lifting weights develops the muscles.
Stronger Bone Mass
A benefit of lifting weights not as commonly known as muscle development is the strengthening of bone mass. The resistance you encounter when raising weight challenges the body and the skeletal system. The body doesn’t like that; it doesn’t like being limited. So it strengthens itself. It makes sure that the next time such challenges present themself, the body can handle them better.
A lot of the time, people only associate aerobic exercises with endurance. But even pumping iron improves endurance. As I explained above, the body wants to be more ready to face opposition. Lifting weights help the muscles last longer under pressure and exertion.
When talking about endurance, the first thing that comes to mind is perhaps running. It’s because running has a huge emphasis on breathing. But did you know that even weight lifting emphasizes breathing? So proper breathing is one of the most critical aspects of a good weight lifting technique.
Another essential aspect necessary in proper weight lifting technique is posture. That’s also one of the physical aspects that exercise improves. In addition, the development of skeletal muscles makes them better equipped at carrying the body right.
Lifting weights emphasizes a specific set of muscles. These muscles are commonly the chest, core, back, shoulders, and leg muscles. All of these muscles are necessary for standing straight and strong.
Balance and Stability
Do you know how hard it is to remain upright, balanced, and stable while lugging around something heavy? Cynthia L. Comella, MD, a former professor of neurology at Rush University in Chicago, says that strength training helps combat neurological conditions. It helps dissipate muscle spasms and balance.
Strength training, and other forms of exercises in general, improves the body in general. Strength training is conducive to better muscle control and more reliable nerves.
It’s probably not the first reason why anyone decides to lift weights: better mental health. Exercise, in general, improves mood. It releases endorphins, Endorphin boosts the air and releases happy hormones. It gives a sense of happiness that isn’t addictive. It helps in focus and even battles dementia.
Researchers confirmed that weight training helps in the development of a regular sleeping pattern. It allows anyone to fall asleep faster and more deeply. The biological reason behind this is that the body repairs the body during sleep. Therefore, it does tons of maintenance functions.
After a strenuous strength training session, the muscles are slightly damaged. The body wants to repair those damages. The body encourages sleep.
The Connection with Seniors
What do these benefits of weight lifting have to do with seniors? If you haven’t noticed, all of these benefits listed are benefits seniors sorely need! The common problems with aging involve muscle loss, weak bones, compromised energy levels, bad posture, lack of balance and muscle coordination, mental health problems, and sleeping problems.
The list of weight training effects beneficial to seniors goes on and on. The point is, seniors, and anyone for that matter can benefit from a regular weight lifting workout. Weight training can combat, or the very least improve, the following diseases common among seniors:
● Muscular dystrophy
● Heart diseases
Again, the list can go on and on! So, seniors should lift weights regularly. The question now is, how should seniors go about lifting weights?
Weight Lifting Basics for Seniors
Get a Professional to Help You
Lifting weights is not as easy as Arnold Schwarzenegger makes it look. It requires training to handle the irons. I suggest you get a professional to teach you the proper techniques.
Proper Techniques Matter
When it comes to strength training, you either win it or lose it. There’s no middle ground. The proper technique gives you countless benefits. Otherwise, it causes you all sorts of problems. It is why a professional is needed.
Bad technique is an invitation for injuries, wrong joint movement, imbalances in muscle growth, and more.
On your first try, don’t try to lift the heaviest piece of iron you find. That’s a recipe for disaster. Instead, work your way up from a weight that makes you feel comfortable.
Once a Week is Enough
There are two primary reasons why seniors should only have one weight lifting session every week. The first reason is that the body needs time to recuperate and repair the micro-damages lifting weight causes. This way, the body becomes stronger and reaps the benefits of the exercise. However, not giving the body enough time to heal and over-exerting it causes more problems than benefits.
The other reason is that it’s better to have an exercise routine that suits you. Setting your bar too high on the first try will likely get you nowhere. It’s better to exercise less often and stick with it than exercise every day for a few days then quit.
Get to Training!
Seniors should lift weights. The benefits are countless! It will help you live healthier, more vibrantly, and improve your quality of life. But you have to do it right!
Need Help in Strength Training?
Although we are not weight lifting professionals, we at Infinite Love Homecare are senior healthcare professionals! We can help you get to and from the gym, help you create a diet that supplements your strength-training efforts, and so much more!
Whatever you need, we are here for you. Call us at (949) 529-4130 or send us a message through our Contact Us page. If you need details on what our services are, see our Services webpage. We also offer free consultations to help you get the best healthcare services right in the comfort of your own home.