Benefits of weightlifting for seniors

A review of 126 scientifically backed articles has concluded that there are 78 benefits of strength training for older adults.

Benefits of weightlifting for seniors

The ageing process is a daunting and inevitable one, which is why effort and action must be taken to improve overall health, longevity and quality of life. Despite this, 80 per cent of adults do not engage in enough physical activity to reach prescribed guidelines. In general, but especially for seniors, inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle are extremely dangerous.

These dangers include increased risk of serious adverse health conditions such as blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity, cholesterol issues, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, depression, and death from any cause. In 2008, out of the 57 million deaths worldwide, 5.3 million were caused by a lack of physical activity.

Many people know weightlifting is hugely beneficial but think light walking or recreational activity is good enough for seniors. There is a misconception that older individuals should stay away from any strenuous activities that could build strength such as weightlifting. This could not be further from the truth.

Here are five of the 78 powerful benefits of strength training:

  • Weightlifting is the most effective treatment to prevent, slow down or partially reverse age-related muscle loss and sarcopenia.
  • Volunteers between the ages of 61-80, who were able to add 2.4 pounds of muscle, reduced their physical age by an average of five years, allowing them to feel younger and healthier.
  • Lifting weights helps ageing populations reduce many risk factors for falls, improve functional independence, functional capacity and quality of life.
  • Weight training reduces a wide variety of general aches and pains that come with age, as well as many disorder-specific pains.
  • Exercising as little as 20 minutes a day reduces the risk of early death by as much as 30 per cent and strength training twice a week reduces the risk of all-cause mortality by 46 per cent.

Other benefits include improving osteoarthritis and cardiovascular and bone health, helping to fight type 2 diabetes, increasing the quality of sleep and improving cognitive function and mental health. To read the original article and see the full list of benefits, visit RunRepeat.com.

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