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Older People + Weight Training = Independence

By Tom Herrin

Normally when we think of weight training, many of us picture someone wearing some kind of tights with bulging muscles.  While that may be what some look like, the vast majority of those who participate in this kind of activity look just like the rest of us.  Our natural assumption is often that older individuals would be excluded from this group, but that is not the case either.  As a matter of fact, older people may have the most to gain from weight training because it may help to free them from dependence on others, and that is enough reason for us to become involved in it.

Weights May Improve Bone Health

Injuries to bones are pretty common as we get older.  Our bodies tend to have issues with calcium and problems related to arthritis.  Weight training is known to help strengthen bones.  It also is a good way to counter some of the effects of arthritis.  Even though we may have pain, the workout may help to provide greater mobility and allow us to move beyond the pain of the basic arthritis.  I have a significant amount of arthritis in one shoulder and have found that working with weights, carefully, can help me to move with less pain.

Weights May Help to Improve Mental Health

Our mental health and well-being is important.  As we age, we often become frustrated with some of our ability to do mental processing.  If we are not able to perform basic mental functions, we may become discouraged.  Studies have indicated that working with weights may help us to have better responses as well as a sharper memory.  Depression is another thing that can be seen frequently in older individuals.  Weight training has been seen as a positive way to deal with this problem.

The Little Things May Be Better

Doing things for ourselves is important to small children.  It may be even more important for those of us who are older.  Anytime we lose some of this ability, we may have to depend on others more.  This can seem to be a major loss of independence.  Weight training may help support our strength well enough so that we can continue to do things for ourselves.  In the overall scheme of things, that may be one of most critical parts of remaining upbeat.

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

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