Seniors, Strength Training, and Heart Health
There are benefits for our elderly parents in strength training!
New evidence concludes that older adults who engage in strength training are reducing their risk for a heart attack or stroke.
A recently published study followed thousands of people for almost 20 years. Research found that elders who participated in strength training, for even as little as one hour per week, yielded a 40-70% reduction in the risk of a heart attack or a stroke. This finding was independent of whether aging adults engaged in aerobic exercise.
What options exist for those seniors interested in strength or weight training? First off, it is easy to start slowly, with very minimal effort. Strength training can be adjusted to each individual’s ability and commitment. Time, location, and intensity can all be mixed into a productive program for seniors.
Aging adults who don’t feel they have the energy, or time, for long strength training sessions can still benefit from less frequent or short exercises. Strength training doesn’t require a time-intensive workout regimen. In minutes, elderly can bench press two sets of exercise weight.
No major expenses for any kind of fancy equipment. Standard household items can easily be substituted for strength training and repetitions. Lifting any weight that increases resistance on your muscles is the key. This might be carrying laundry from the cellar washing machine. Or gardening (digging) in the backyard. Cutting the lawn. Swimming. Any form of exercise which provides muscle resistance will exercise and strengthen those muscles.
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164