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Maintain Strength in Older Years for Better Health

By Tom Herrin

At one time, many of us probably thought of older adults as people who are not capable of doing anything that requires much strength, and they are unable to do training with weights.  It is much to the contrary.  It has been found that weight training may have considerable benefits for older adults.  This is not to say they should be lifting heavy amounts, but they should do something that tests their abilities and rewards their effort.  The goal may not be to build big muscles but to increase strength to some degree.

Avoiding Muscle Loss Is Important

As we age, we begin to lose quite a bit of muscle.  In cattle, older animals are referred to as thin and shelly due to the fact that the muscles have lost a lot of their ability.  In people, we see the muscles deteriorate as well.  Weight training can do several things to help combat this issue.  It can help to increase muscle mass and quality as well as increase general and maximal strength.  It is also believed that regular training can bring about the best results.  

Lifting Weights May Be Better Than Pain Meds

If you have aches and pains, participating in strength training may go a long way toward making it feel better.  As we gain strength, we will have an easier time performing many of the tasks that come our way each day.  It also is known to help improve our mental state.  I really enjoy working out with weights and do so whenever I have the opportunity.  You obviously must take care to avoid adding injury, but if you are careful with the workout, you may be able to improve the efficiency with which you perform daily tasks.  I know it works for me.

Weights May Counter Depression

A real problem for many older individuals is depression.  Too many times, I see an older person sitting in a dark room alone and doing nothing.  If we want to enjoy quality of life as we age, we have to keep moving.  Weight training can be a good way to prevent our situation from deteriorating.  In studies, it has been found that this kind of activity can help to prevent depression in healthy older adults as well as those who may be in wheelchairs and/or have dementia.  It is certainly worth investing the effort.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Huntersville, N.C.

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