How to Stand Up to Aging
If you haven’t seen my up-down workout, check it out here.
Last month I briefly talked about incorporating alternating movements that get you moving between standing and floor-based exercises. This month, I wanted to talk more on how resistance training and practicing movements that we may take for granted can be incredibly important to the aging adult.
As we age, two normal types of degeneration occur to our body’s structure: sarcopenia (muscle- loss) and either osteopenia or osteoporosis (bone loss). Both bone loss and muscle loss have the potential to severely impede a person’s quality of life. This may surprise some people; After the age of 50, a woman’s risk of risk of fracture is equal to her risk of breast, uterine, and cervical cancer combined (NOF 2016). Although women are more likely to experience a fracture in their lives, males are also susceptible to the same types of injuries. In order to combat such injuries, A multicomponent exercise program including resistance and balance training for individuals with bone loss will improve an aging individual’s independence and quality of life (Giangregorio et al. 2014).
Incorporating resistance training that involves all major muscle groups will be the most beneficial to the aging adult. Squats, push-ups, rows, and deadlift variations are great examples of exercises that will work major muscle groups. Sets of 8-12 reps for two sets, twice a week should be a sufficient stimulus to delay bone and muscle loss and possibly increase bone mineral density.
Focusing on balance while training can increase body awareness and decrease the change of falls. Single-leg movements such as standing on one leg or a single leg squats are great examples of exercises that can improve balance. Practicing movements on unstable surfaces can also lead to increased body awareness. An example of this would be standing on one leg on top of a Bosu Ball.
Although aerobic activities such as walking, biking or swimming should be welcomed into a program, excluding resistance training would be a mistake. Including resistance training into a person’s life can go a long way into improving a person’s lifestyle and increasing their independence. If you need some inspiration on exercises that may increase bone density, check out my Up-Down Workout article here.
NOF (National Osteoporosis Foundation).2016. Accessed June 21, 2018: nof.org
Giangregorio, L. M., Papaioannou, A., MacIntyre, N. J., Ashe, M. C., Heinonen, A., Shipp, K., … Cheung, A. M. (2014). Too Fit To Fracture: exercise recommendations for individuals with osteoporosis or osteoporotic vertebral fracture. Osteoporosis International : A Journal Established as Result of Cooperation between the European Foundation for Osteoporosis and the National Osteoporosis Foundation of the USA, 25(3), 821–835. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00198-013-2523-2 2016. Accessed June 21, 2018: nof.org.