"Strength is the fountain of youth," states Gavin McHale, a Winnipeg-based certified exercise physiologist, and kinesiologist who works mostly with older adults. Did you know? Strength exercises are not just for bodybuilders and professional athletes! At Brickmont Assisted Living, we want to encourage seniors to participate in strength training that is more suitable for their needs!Strength Training – A physical type of exercise which uses weight resistance to induce muscular contraction. The weights can be machines, free weights, or even a person’s own body weight.
Strength Exercise Benefits
The benefits of strength training can be very helpful for an individual of any age, but especially for seniors. The overall purpose of these exercises is to gain strength, but there is also a multitude of other benefits:
- Higher Pain Tolerance
- Better Control of Chronic Disease Symptoms
- Improved Stability and Posture
- Maintaining Muscle Mass
- Increased Bone Density
- Remaining Mobile
- Boost Confidence
Strength training can also help with relief for specific diseases as well. These types of movements help to manage glycemic control in people with diabetes, and help with obesity by boosting metabolism function. These exercises can be very helpful for seniors, but it is essential to discuss any limiting conditions with a doctor before training.
How to Get Started
After getting cleared by a doctor for strength exercising, remember to start slow and build up to a heavier weight or more repetitions. The following training moments can all be performed without any additional equipment:
- Wall Push-Ups: A great way to strengthen the arms, upper body, chest, and shoulders is with this type of exercise. Steps include facing a wall at arm’s length with feet shoulder-length apart, then simply do 10 – 15 push-ups.
- Lying Hip Bridges: This exercise targets the glutes which are the body’s largest muscle group, and it opens the hips. This exercise can be executed by laying on the floor with knees bent, feet hip-length apart with the heels a few inches from the buttocks. Then lift your hips by squeezing your glutes and hold for about 2 seconds, with multiple repetitions.
- Chair Squats: For a stronger core and lower body, chair squats can be very helpful. To start, just stand in front of a chair with feet hip-distance apart and keep your knees over your feet. With an upright chest, bend knees slowly and with a tight abdomen slowly squat above the chair, return to standing position and repeat 10 times.
These three-strength exercises can all target different areas of the body and can be very beneficial for seniors. It is essential to have a trainer or exercise partner for some of the more dangerous positions. As always, be sure to check with your primary care physician before starting any new exercise regimens.
If you are interested in residing in a community that can assist with daily activities, including exercising, contact Brickmont Assisted Living to learn more. We love helping seniors find value in their day-to-day lives!