With age comes senescence, which has always been typically viewed as a biological imperative. However, growing older doesn’t have to lead to becoming feebler if you choose to do something about it. While you may not lead as vigorous a life as you did in your youth, there is still value in getting stronger during your silver years.
First and foremost, being stronger helps you to continue doing your daily activities with independence. Even when you are walking, stronger muscles help your tendons and joints to absorb impact. Simple acts of carrying your grandchild or pet, or repositioning the sofa also requires strength which we may have taken for granted in younger days. Additionally, having strength can prevent and help you to better withstand falls, which are one of the leading causes of fatal injury and non-fatal trauma-related hospital admissions amongst older adults.
In addition, being strong can also help the body be more flexible and mobile, which allow a wider range of motion in joints. Of course, strength alone is unable to provide both flexibility and mobility, and factors such as balance and coordination play a part as well. Another important benefit is an increase in stability, which facilitates joint movement through tissues and the neuromuscular system.
The process of building strength can reduce fatigue and hasten recovery time. Specifically, it ensures that your heart, which is also a muscle, continues to pump a good amount of blood to all other organs to function well. Being more alert, feeling less tired, and taking a shorter time to recover from post-exercise aches and even some illnesses contribute to an overall better quality of time.
Beyond physical benefits, gaining strength through methods such as resistance training can slow down cognitive decline. Lifting weights can also help to improve mental acuity, which helps to safeguard against conditions such as dementia. All these can help to maintain and optimise brain functions.
Striving towards gains in strength as you age is definitely worthwhile. Start incorporating strength training in your workout today to age actively and healthily. Engaging in a routine that is intense enough will push you to become better, but always take care to scale your training to your level of physical conditioning. If in doubt, look to engage in a personal trainer who has experience with training older populations.