Senior male holding therapy ball

Five Benefits of Resistance Training for Seniors

Exercise benefits your body and mind, at any age. As you move into your golden years, exercise continues to be an important part of maintaining your health. Seniors who get regular exercise are shown to have improved digestive and immune functioning, as well as better blood pressure. They are at a lower risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. And the benefits of exercise are not only physical; regular exercise can improve brain function, improve mood and self-confidence and improve the quality of sleep.

If you are ready to start an exercise routine, or if you are a part of a senior community that offers exercise resources, it is important to understand what options are available and what would work best for your circumstances.

Five Benefits of Resistance Training

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that strengthening exercises are vital to remaining active, strong and energetic as you age. The advantages of resistance training touch all aspects of muscle and bone health and have been known to improve mental health – when you feel strong, you feel happy!

Communities like Fair Oaks Rehabilitation and Health Care Center understand the long-term and short-term advantages for seniors who make strength training a part of their exercise routine. The top five benefits of resistance training are:

  1. Controlling body fat
  2. Decreasing risk of injury
  3. Increasing strength
  4. Improving bone health
  5. Maintaining muscle tissue

What are the Best Strength Training Exercises for Seniors?

During the aging process, people naturally lose muscle mass and bone density. A decline in physical activity can also play a role in bone and muscle health. Senior care communities, like Fair Oaks Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, provide on-site gym equipment, professional trainers and personalized care plans to help their residents reach their physical health goals. However, many seniors want to exercise on their own at the community or in their own home. In most cases, strength training exercises are easy to learn and are proven to be safe for people of all ages. Here are five suggestions for strength training exercises for seniors:

Squats with a chair. This exercise strengthens the lower body and the core, making it easier to climb stairs and pick things up.

To do this: Stand in front of the chair and lower your body to a seated position, keeping your chest upright. Then return to standing.

Wall push-ups. This exercise strengthens the arms and chest.

To do this: Stand two feet back from the wall and put your hands on the wall at shoulder-width apart. Keep your body straight and lower your chest toward the wall.

Lying Hip Bridges. This exercise strengthens your glutes and opens up the hips, which is helpful for a person who spends many hours sitting.

To do this: Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Push your lower back into the floor and your hips up into the air. Pause, then lower your hips back down.

Deadbugs. This exercise improves core strength, which improves balance.

To do this: While lying flat on your back, raise your arms and legs into the air. Lower one leg and the opposite arm at the same time, bringing them down until they almost touch the floor. Hold, then bring them back to the raised position. Repeat with the other leg and arm.

Wall slides. This exercise helps strengthen hips and knees.

To do this: With your feet one to two feet from the wall, lean so that your back, hips, bum and shoulders are against the wall. Lower yourself to a seated position, count to three, then raise back to straight legs.

While these strength training exercises for seniors are safe, it is always best to consult with your primary care physician or your care team at your senior care community before beginning a new exercise program.

Building a Healthy Future

The very best way to put yourself on the path to a healthy future is to plan ahead. If you experience a serious illness or surgery, it helps to have the support of a trained team and the resources of a specialized facility to help get you back on track. At Fair Oaks, we recognize the importance of strength training for older adults and are equipped with a state-of-the-art therapy gym. Our fall-safe gym is designed to improve your mobility and help you gain strength. In addition to strength-building opportunities, our environment provides:

  • Healthy and scrumptious meals prepared by in-house chefs
  • Health education
  • High tech, 24-hour security
  • Assistance with the activities of daily living
  • Social, wellness and daily fitness programs
  • Housekeeping and linen service, as well as personal laundry

At Fair Oaks Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, we want you to understand the services we provide and the reasons our care is a step above. Contact us today for a personalized consultation.