April 26, 2018 By Jan Olson

Pumping Iron to Stay Young

The difference between living independently and needing skilled nursing care as you age can depend in large part on your muscle mass and strength. Doing some strength training regularly is a wise investment in your future freedom.

Having said that, only about 15 percent of people over 50 are “pumping iron.” A person loses 30 percent of their muscle strength between the ages of 50 and 70 years. However, in five months of regular strength training, you can reverse that statistic and increase your strength by 20 to 30 percent.

In addition, resistance training has been shown to help cognitive brain function in older years. Research also shows that regular strength training increases muscle strength and reduces muscular atrophy. These improvements also help prevent falls and injuries. It is also noteworthy that strength training will yield more muscle mass. The optimum amount of exercise for healthy elderly persons is three to four sessions per week.

Current research shows that the most important factor in a person’s functional fitness is their strength capacity. At any age, they can experience significant improvement with progressive resistance exercise — even a 90 year-old. Researchers found that, after an average of 18 to 20 weeks of progressive resistance training, an adult can add 2.42 pounds of lean muscle to their body mass and increase their overall strength by 20 to 30 percent.

An easy way to start resistance training is to exercise using your own body weight doing chair stands — standing up out of a chair, or a doing a modified pushup, or lying down hip bridges, as well as other forms of group exercise such as Yoga, Tai Chi or Strengthen your Core Classes that provide a full range of motion. Paradise Valley Estates now offers a Paradise Pump class in which the entire focus is using weights to strengthen your body. We also provide special assistance in the Powerhouse Gym on Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays at 2:00 p.m.

Your choices also include optional training opportunities such as personal and small group training. Our team of personal fitness trainers is experienced and knowledgeable. They’re always here to help you achieve your personal fitness and wellness goals.


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