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The Importance of Weight Training for Adults of All Ages

Physical activity for Older Adults is important as they are at greater risk of a range of chronic health conditions and serious injuries that they never needed to consider earlier in life. But every adult can reduce their risks with the right type of Weight Training, even while getting older. Research shows that we lose muscle from the age of 30, and by the time we reach 60, our strength may have reduced by as much as 30%. This loss of strength and muscle leads to a range of conditions that can take its toll on our health and quality of life in our later years.

Maintain Motor Function

Weight Training and Strength training is also needed to maintain “motor function”, which is the nervous system’s ability to recruit muscles to perform all basic human movement efficiently and pain-free. Without motor function, everyday living becomes more challenging.

Avoid Sarcopenia

Weight Training is the most effective way to avoid and even reverse sarcopenia, a condition characterised by loss of skeletal muscle mass and function caused by getting older but can start early in life. Sarcopenia can reduce lifespan and quality of life.

Reduced Risk of Falls

Elderly adults are at significant risk of serious injuries from falls. From our 50s, we’re more prone to falls and injuries, but after the age of 65, 30% of people suffer a fall at least once a year. Severe bruising, bone fractures and breaks are often the result of a bad fall. Weight Training can reduce the risk of falls because it builds leg strength, improves balance and stability. The right training also increases bone density, increases muscle which protects bones and improves people’s ability to brace themselves to reduce the severity of injuries if a fall occurs.

Stop Chronic Disease

Weight training for all ages is effective in reducing the risk of suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, obesity and conditions such as chronic back pain. Some of these conditions are linked to carrying excess weight that often occurs in the elderly but strength training will help keep weight in check due to increased metabolism.

Many seniors take medications to reduce the risks and symptoms of chronic diseases. Some medications have side effects, including poor balance, which increases the risk of a fall. By decreasing your risk of chronic illness, you may also reduce the number of medications needed to maintain good health.

Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis

It is estimated that one in three women over the age of 50 and one in five men will experience osteoporotic fractures in their lifetime. A well-designed strength training program is one of the best ways of reducing your risk of osteoporosis in elderly life. Activities that put stress on the bone activate bone-forming cells, which leads to stronger, denser bones. Better bone health can mean bones will not break during a fall and help live a more active lifestyle and better quality of life.

How Much Weight Training is Required?

According to research, two to three sessions of weight training per week will decrease morbidity and mortality caused by cardiovascular disorders, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

At RAW Personal Training, we recommend three sessions per week at 60 minutes per session. A minimum amount of work has to be performed per session to see the full benefit.

Each exercise is performed for 3-5 sets, and 8-10 exercises are completed per session.

We ensure progression occurs and that clients perform each set of exercises with the proper technique.

The intensity of the load must be at least 55% of maximal strength, according to research.

The intensity or weight of the load used for each set is important because research has shown that using too light of a load and not training to “technical” failure on each set will not lead to an increase in muscle mass, strength and bone density.

Before training begins, every new client goes through a detailed assessment to determine their weak links and current movement capacity. We then design a customised strength training program.

It’s Never Too Late to Start Personal Training

The good news is, you haven’t left it too late. If you’re already in your senior years, you can reverse the effects of muscle loss and weakness by following our program of Strength training for all ages . It doesn’t matter where you start, the right program customised for you will provide benefits, and we take great pride in strength training older men and women at RAW Personal Training.

Case Study

RAW Personal Training, has custom-designed strength training for elderly individuals. Here are the details of just one of our happy clients.

Patrick has been living in Hong Kong for 43 years but is originally from a small town near Houston, Texas. When he turned 70, He was not happy with his physique. He had gained 20kg of fat over the last two decades. He didn’t like the way he looked and didn’t like the way he felt. He decided to start an exercise program to lose weight, gain muscle, strength and improve function. Patrick came to RAW as a complete beginner, having never done any strength training. Patrick’s results after one year of training twice per week are:

  • Lost 20 kg of body weight – He was originally 90kgs and is currently 70kgs.
  • Lost 10% body fat
  • Lost 10 kg of fat mass
  • Gained 3 kg of lean mass. That is impressive for someone in their 70s!

Patrick has more energy throughout the day and doesn’t get tired as easily as he did before. He’s consuming more food and still keeps his body weight and body fat low due to increased metabolism. Patrick feels more stable getting up and down the stairs, feels stronger when carrying relatively heavy items and has lowered his risk of falling due to his improved balance and stability.

If you would like to see similar results to Patrick please get in touch with Jeremy.

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