FITNESS TIP

STRENGTH TRAINING & AGING

Mel Salada, Certified Personal Trainer

A very common question asked is whether or not weight training is harmful or beneficial as we get older. Is walking enough to prevent osteoporosis? Probably not. If I already do aerobic exercise, do I need to do strength work? The answer is yes.

It is an established fact that as we get older (and wiser), our bodies are not as robust as they were in our twenties. All is not lost, however. We simply need to maintain a physical program that creates a “need” for our bodies to accommodate for the demand…the demand to stay strong and healthy.

The human body only accommodates to the amount of stress it is asked to do. It never compensates for more. Think of it this way. Since most of us have some experience with jogging I will use this as an example. The very first time you run a mile it will feel challenging. If you only run the same mile for the next year, you may still not be strong enough to run two miles.

This principle also works for strength training. Keep in mind when we talk about strength training it should include both the upper and lower body. We are bodies made up of 650 muscle groups. Let’s make use of all of them. In our daily lives we move our arms and legs in multiple planes. The world demands this of us in order to move in sport, garden in our yard, put the dishes away, and get into our cars. A complete program should prepare us for whatever life demands.

If you golf or play tennis, try using the Kettlebells or CoreMax bags to improve your swing and core. If you have trouble lifting things overhead then a program involving overhead strength training with range of motion is in order. Maybe even just getting up from the floor or into tight spaces is getting more difficult. In this case, an evaluation as to the cause of the restriction and a plan to help alleviate the pain would be most helpful.

We are here to help. Please ask us how strength training can be helpful to you.