Baby boomers benefit from strength training
See what increased physical activity can do for you.
November 23, 2015 - Author: Leatta Byrd, Michigan State University Extension
Baby boomers are hitting the gym doing strength training which can make bones stronger, one major benefit. Experts suggest that lifting weights twice (for beginners) or three times a week increases strength by building muscle mass and bone density. Michigan State University Extension recommends people continue to be physically active as they age. According to WebMD people 50 and over are purchasing gym and health club memberships and more fitness centers are doing everything they can to attract the baby boom generation and it's working, with folks over 50 making up the fastest-growing segment of the fitness population.
Older people realize that if they want to age successfully and remain living independently they need to have strong muscles and bones that will maintain agility, strength and balance. Seniors can get this level of fitness through incorporating strength training into their physical activity. There are a few tips which will help beginners with a strength training program. The key benefits to strength training according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for those who suffer with chronic disease:
- Arthritis relief: Tufts studies now show that lifestyle changes such as strength training have a profound impact on helping older adults manage their osteoarthritis.
- Osteoporosis: Helps to develop muscular strength.
- Diabetes: In a recent study of Hispanic men and women, 16 weeks of strength training produced dramatic improvements in glucose control that are comparable to taking diabetes medication.
- Obesity: Strength training can provide up to a 15 percent increase in metabolic rate, which is enormously helpful for weight loss and long-term weight control
- Back pain – research has showed strength training increases bone density and reduces the risks for fractures among women aged 50-70.
- Depression: When older adults participate in strength training programs, their self-confidence and self-esteem improve, which has a strong impact on their overall quality of life.
Having strong bones are key to healthy aging. By taking care of your bone health you can have a positive outcome on your health now and prolong independence as you age. Before engaging in strength training you should first consult your medical doctor.