Exercising for Muscle Strength in Seniors
Exercising for muscle strength helps in the following ways:
- Improves your balance
- Preserves or improves muscle strength
- Gives confidence when walking
- Muscle mass is maintained or increased
- Improves your flexibility and suppleness
- Avoid or reduce joint pain
- Do daily living activities efficiently
Some Body Parts that need Strength Training
We rely on the legs and feet to help us stand, to enable us move from place to place and support us while we do things. The largest muscles are in the legs. If the legs loose muscle mass and strength, you can imagine how that will affect a person’s functionality.
The core muscles include: the abdomen, the back muscles and the muscles along the spine and the hips. The core muscles support the spine and the pelvis and that is why, directly or indirectly the core is the source for every movement we make.
If the core muscles are weakened, all the other muscles have to work harder to make up for it.
Having weak core muscles is one of the main reasons directly or indirectly for injuries in seniors.
Here is a sample strengthening exercise from Philips Lifeline for the legs and the core muscles.
Let this inspire you to “soldier on” with your strength training!
Exercise: Marching for Strength and Balance
- Hold on to a sturdy counter if you need support
- Stand straight
- Raise the right knee as high as you can
- Slowly lower the knee
- Raise the left knee as high as you can
- Slowly lower the knee
- Repeat 10 times for each leg
It’s not enough merely to walk.
When your muscles start to ‘talk’,
Complaining all the while,
Put strength training into your lifestyle!
Movements that are functional
Are improved by workouts – that’s rational.
Avoid injury, joint pain or inflammation,
Maintain muscles, balance and coordination!
Note: Please be sure to get your doctor’s approval before beginning any new exercise routine. A physical therapist is specially trained to teach seniors how to do exercises correctly, so if you are not familiar with exercising, look to a professional to explain what you need individually and how to exercise.
Government sources recommend adults and senior adults should do moderate- to high-intensity activities, exercising for muscle strength, more than two times a week.
Exercising for muscle strength is important for all adults, and especially seniors. Exercise in a pair or in an organized group to add a social element to your exercising.
Keep strong at any age by exercising for muscle strength!
Photo by Mark Leishman on Unsplash