Stronger than ever at 60!

Written by Maggie-Laurie Spark

Exercise benefits for the older and wiser generation.

STRONG MUSCLES

There are many benefits of strength training, especially for mature aged exercise goers.  Start gently and with the guidance and supervision of a trained professional to ensure maximum improvements and prevention of injury. Resistance based, strength exercise can;

  • Increases muscle strength and tone.
  • Strengthens your heart and lungs, can lower blood pressure and improves overall cardiovascular health.
  • Aids in weight management.
  • Improves balance, coordination, motor control and flexibility.
  • Prevents injury, muscle and joint degeneration and degenerative diseases.
  • Greatly increased physical confidence.

STRONG BONES

Lifting weights also increases and restores bone mineral density, keeping your body’s structural support strong and healthy.  Inactivity and aging can lead to a decrease in bone density and brittleness.  Studies have proven that consistent strength training can increase bone density and prevent osteoporosis.  New studies have also shown that strength training later in your life can not only increase new bone growth, but actually reverse the effects of ageing.  How cool is that, so it really is never too late to start.

STRONG JOINTS

Strength training is one of the best ways to not only manage arthritis and the degeneration process it has on the body, but prevent it from occurring in the first place.  Lifting weights increases your muscle tissue and strength which in turn, supports your body better. When your muscles are strong they relieve your joints from load or stress.  Strength training also decreases the severity and degeneration of Arthritis while relieving pain and improving your quality of life.

Strong muscles, bones and joints also mean-  

REDUCED PAIN AND PREVENTION OF INJURIES

Targeted exercise can reduce temporary and chronic pain.  Exercise is almost always necessary in the proper rehabilitate of injuries.  Specific regular exercise also helps to alleviate neck and back pain, arthritic and join pain as well as niggly aches and general day to day body discomfort.  Increased muscle strength will also help to prevent injuries by the absorbing load and stress put on the body through every day activities, exercise and leisure activities.  Gentle low impact cardiovascular exercise and stretching can also alleviate stillness and muscle soreness while releasing endorphins, which can naturally relieve pain. Endorphins also elevate your mood and help to relieve symptoms of depression.

OPTIMAL POSTURE, MOBILITY AND BALANCE

Good muscles strength improves your posture by holding the bones in the correct position, which in turn helps to improve your balance to prevent falls.  Functional strength training increases your physical activity, keeping your muscles and joints supple and mobile for pain free everyday use.

A strong core means good balance and stability to keep you on your feet and on the move.  It is extremely important as we age to have good core strength to support the body in everything we do.

Movement also produces synovial fluid that lubricates the joints and allows us to move smoother and without pain.

KEEP YOUR WIT ABOUT YOU- IMPROVED BRAIN FUNCTION

Can exercise really make us smarter?

We hear so much about the physical benefits of regular exercise, but what effects do exercise have on our cognitive function?

Research has shown that during a session of moderately intense aerobic exercise, mental performance improves in several measurable ways including reaction time, perception of visual images and executive control processes like planning, scheduling, coordination of people and the brains ability to temporarily store and manage the information required to carry out complex mental functions. This improved cognitive function begins to show at about 20 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise and will be maintained for about another 40 minutes. Beyond 60 minutes of exercise, fatigue is likely to become a factor. For very fit individuals, enhanced mental performance could continue beyond an hour.  Multiple studies have shown that people who exercise regularly will have less age-related cognitive decline and lose less brain tissue, as seen on MRI and PET scans.

Source: From the Harvard Medical School Heartbeat Newsletter – April 12, 2013

GRACEFUL AGINGStrength Training increases energy, fills your body with adrenalin and endorphins (the natural happy drug) and improves circulation for a youthful healthy glow.  Physical activity can reduce inflammation in the body that comes with aging while improving circulation, which means there is greater nutrient delivery to the muscles, bone, joints and organs. This reduced inflammation and increased nutrient delivery, decreases your risk of developing related diseases and conditions like heart disease, depression, chronic pain, decreased mental function, and loss of bone density and muscle mass.  According to surprising new research, exercise not only helps to keep your skin looking young, but may even reverse skin aging in people who start exercising late in life.