After the age of 30, we begin losing 3 to 8% of lean muscle mass. However, implementing even the smallest amount of strength training into your daily routine is greatly beneficial. Your body increases bone density and improves overall strength while reducing the likelihood of fragile bones prone to fracture.
The following are key benefits of building muscle strength in your older years:
Improved Balance –
Your core abdominal muscles help maintain your posture. When you grow older, your bones are challenged to keep the frame of your body in constant alignment and not distorted as you move and perform your regular daily activities.
Having a strong abdominal structure through regular muscle building improves your posture and holds your balance together, reducing your risk of falling and fracturing or breaking any bones. This is especially vital for those who live in environments that get snowy and icy regularly.
Preventing Osteoporosis –
With the increased risk of falling is the compounded problem of weaker bones. Osteoporosis occurs when our dietary and lifestyle habits create a lack of nutrients, thereby making our bones weak and porous.
By increasing your muscle-strengthening activities you’re protecting your bones, your back, your posture, and your ability to move with confidence.
Similarly, strength training helps keep the cartilage between your joints from breaking down, which means no joint stiffness or pain.
Prevents PreMobrbidity –
Having more strong lean muscle tissue improves your mobility and daily function. As we grow older, our bodies face the normal challenges that come with aging. However, with strong muscle tissue, you’re more likely to remain strong, youthful, and energetic, and have a lower weight.
All of this results in decreased likelihood of premorbid medical conditions or hormonal imbalances.
Buffers any pain associated with arthritis –
Having strong muscles helps relieve the pain associated with arthritis. Strength training prevents the cartilage between your joints from deteriorating. This means you experience less stiffness and pain in your joints.
Where to Begin –
How should older adults prioritize muscle-strengthening exercises? Always talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.
However, a typical weight-bearing exercise routine includes:
- 8 to 10 targeted exercises for major muscle groups
- 12 to 15 reps
- 2 to 3 times a week
Don’t be afraid to start small and continue to gradually build up to heavier weights, more repetitions, or different types of exercises. It’s a slow process that takes time and patience but comes with great rewards.
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