July 13, 2015
Strength. For Life. Three important words that speak volumes. Exercise and physical activity offer numerous health benefits across the lifespan. The good news is this: it’s never too late to begin! Seasoned athletes and mature novices, take note: strength and balance can mean the difference between living independently and safely at home and requiring assistance in a long-term care facility.
Aging is associated with a number of physiologic and functional declines that can contribute to increased disability, frailty, and falls. As early as your 30s, you begin to lose muscle mass and function; a condition known as age-related sarcopenia. People who are physically inactive can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass per decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you will still experience some muscle loss. Sarcopenia can result or be exacerbated by certain chronic conditions and can also increase the burden of chronic disease.
Strength training, in conjunction with aerobic exercise, can slow down our biological aging clock. Research supports exercise as an essential component of the prevention of physical frailty and falls in older adults. Done regularly, at least 2 to 3 days per week, strengthening exercises not only build strength and muscle mass, but preserve bone density, independence, and vitality with age. In addition, strength training also has the ability to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and the signs and symptoms of numerous chronic diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes.
Strength training or resistance exercises also contribute to pain reduction. As your strength increases your muscles provide more support to joints, which may ease the pain of osteoarthritis. This reduction in pain, in turn, can help improve the quality of your rest and sleep. Improved sleep, reduced depression, and prevention of dementia are other benefits of strength training.
As with any exercise regimen, it is best to identify the most appropriate resistance program recommendations for every individual, regardless of age. At Fortius + Drevna Physical Therapy Associates, we offer a variety of fitness options that are tailored to your individual needs and help keep you motivated and committed to life-long success and wellness.
Check out the Fortius link on Facebook or the Drevna Physical Therapy Associates website or Facebook page for details on all of our options and enjoy:
Strength. For Life.
By Anita Roma, PT, DPT, NCS