If you ask me what is the best sport for senior or older people, without a doubt, I would say that adult strength training is an absolute priority.
In recent years, through physical activity professionals through innumerable scientific studies, not only has the interest increased, but also the relevance of strength training in adulthood and / or older than 65 years.
5 benefits of exercising when you’re older
Strength-based training programs help maintain our physical condition and, of course, playing sports to keep us young, functional and strong:
- Improvement of muscle mass and its function: which guarantees to maintain a safe daily movement and functional capacities.
- Improved motor control: reducing the risk of falls and improving range of motion.
- Improvement of the cognitive system: reducing neuronal deterioration, improving mood and perception.
- Improvement of body composition: reduces excess fat mass, along with physical inactivity, which are direct causes of many diseases.
- Improved overall quality of life: and all biomarkers, such as lowering blood pressure.
Importance of strength work
Adult strength training will be the cornerstone on which to develop training programs.
The ultimate goal is to improve physical health and mental health in older adults in order to have a good quality of life.
After a systematic review of strength work in the elderly, significant improvements were reported that increased strength, muscle mass and bone mineral density. Two important consequences follow from this:
- Decrease the risk of injury.
- Encourage a lifestyle of independent living.
Furthermore, we know that older people benefit from resistance training as it helps maintain cognitive, neural, muscular, endocrine and metabolic capacities…
How often and how much weight to do it?
The general recommendations for adult strength training will be the cornerstone on which to develop training programs.s, following the principle of progressive overload, would be to start with 2 – 3 weekly strength training sessions.
The loads usually start relatively low, to complete series between 8 – 12 repetitions (40-50% of 1 RM), until progressing to more intense loads, even reaching loads submaxims.
Current general recommendations to increase power in healthy older adults include exercises with moderate loads, between 6-10 repetitions executed at high speed.
The rest between series should guarantee recovery to maintain the intensity of the exercise. Generally speaking, it could be between 1-3 minutes.
Benefits of strength training for older adults
If science, preventive medicine and training professionals agree on something, it is that strength training in adulthood should be present above any other activity.
It is common to hear that it is best to walk, swim, or other gentle activities.
- Swimming, although it reduces the risk of injury from falls, does not cause necessary adaptations in the elderly.
- Walking, without a doubt, is a good way to stay active, but it is not enough if what we are looking for is to improve muscle quality and functionality.</ li>
Strength exercises should be performed to strengthen skeletal muscle.
Frailty, sarcopenia and other conditions
With age, the loss of bone mineral density as well as the loss of muscle mass are notorious, and the body needs to create and maintain certain stimuli to counteract all the changes typical of birthdays.
Therefore, in addition to maintaining as active a lifestyle as possible, it is not enough to go for a walk. The body needs stimuli that improve muscle strength and resistance that allow the adult to move with a certain dexterity and speed, climb stairs…
That is, a correct exercise program that promotes strength in people of this age.
- Training is just as important as nutrition, which is why we tell you about how older adults should be fed.
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