Resistance Training for Older Adults

The National Strength and Conditioning Association in 2019 came out with their first position stand on resistance training for folks 65 and older. The paper looked at 663 research citations and focused on how muscle mass and strength interventions can minimize the harmful effects of immobility, manage chronic disease, and improve physical functioning, psychological well-being and quality of life.   So, what are the guidelines?

  • Incorporate resistance training 2-3x/week
  • Complete 2-3 sets using major muscles groups and rest 2 minutes between sets.  (When first starting only do one set per muscle group.)
  • Include 8-10 exercises 
  • Do 8-12 repetitions 
  • Program should be tailored to individual need
  • Functional exercises that simulate activities of daily living also enhance functional capacity. (for example, sit to stand)

Alarmingly, the researchers cite evidence that people who are inactive have double the risk of future mobility limitations compared with those who get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week.

Health Benefits of Resistance Training:

  • slow down age-related accumulation of abdominal fat
  • improve muscle quality
  • increase bone density
  • improve metabolic health
  • improve insulin sensitivity 
  • helps reduce falls and fractures

I would suggest if you are not doing resistance training you best start thinking about starting no matter what your age.  And, of course, if you’re not sure where to start, give me a call!

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