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Older People Can Have Gains With Weight Training

By Tom Herrin


When we think of people involved in weight training, many of us have an image of a bodybuilder with big muscles and wearing a set of tights.  This may be the case for those who are really into competitive lifting, but many who may receive the greatest benefits may look more like our grandparents than Mr. America.  Older individuals may actually have the greatest to gain by getting into such activity.  Contrary to what we may believe, weight training is something that may yield some big results for some in this population.

Weight Training May Preserve Muscle

As we age, we lose some muscle.  Too often, we begin to slack off of our physical activity, partly because of this.  Of course, this can start a vicious circle.  Working with weights can help to save, or even develop, much of this muscle tissue.  If we fail to do anything, we will continue this process of losing muscle.  By working out as such, we may be able to continue to do the things that keep us functioning normally.  When this happens, we are able to avoid many of the things that we see as related to normal aging.

Working with Weights May Ease Arthritis Pain

Arthritis can be really painful and uncomfortable.  Weight training has proven to be a good way to help us deal with it.  The problem often is that people are afraid to try because they feel that it may make it worse.  I have arthritis, particularly severe in one shoulder.  I have found that, if I am careful, I can use weights to help to strengthen the muscles around the painful joint.  For me, it seems to help create a better pad with the muscles as well as cause less strain on the joint.

Weights May Support Mental Function

Some studies have indicated that weight training may help memory as well as a few other things.  Not only can it help us to have better general function, but it can also help to improve our mental outlook.  Many older individuals become depressed.  Some of this may be due to the fact that they struggle with tasks that they had previously mastered.  Weight training can help to provide a feeling of success and build confidence.  This can reduce depression as it gives us a better sense of control over our lives. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Berkeley, Calif.

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