Strength Training Safety Tips for Seniors
It has been documented that strength training improves health. But for elderly who are not conditioned, there is a need to start slowly. A carefully constructed exercise program is needed to build-up some endurance and muscle strength.
Before beginning a strength training regime, elders are advised to discuss with a medical professional, physical therapist, or personal trainer. Some testing may be required in order to establish your fitness level. For example, a stress test to ensure your capabilities and current level of senior fitness. If your doctor believes that you are not yet ready, you may be advised to begin working with a local physiotherapist (or other training professionals) in order to build cardiovascular health and strength. Then, you may “graduate” to start weight lifting on your own.
When ready, seniors will still benefit from the personal trainer, or physiotherapist, who has experience helping seniors establish a weight lifting regimen. Instruction on how to utilize weight machines, and establishing the proper form for your abilities. Elders will gain understanding on how to give each muscle set proper exercise, and importantly, recovery and rest.
Starting slowly is usually best. This may be simply a single set of weight exercise, two times a week.
It is important to note: seniors with certain health conditions should not participate in weight lifting exercises. Please be aware of the following health conditions, and discuss with your primary care physician.
- Acute infection of the heart or surrounding tissues
- Angina and other unstable coronary heart diseases
- Aortic dissection
- Aortic stenosis (when severe and symptomatic)
- Congestive heart failure
- Severe pulmonary hypertension
- Uncontrolled blood pressure above 180/110
Senior strength training has been proven to provide some of the following symptoms and/or risk reduction….Back pain…Diabetes…Obesity…Arthritis…Osteoporosis. Seniors who can combine/mix some regular aerobic exercise, along with strength/weight training, will benefit from the exercise regimen in lifestyle and health.
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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