Resistance Training for Older Adults

Physical Therapist-Led Fitness Programs With Resistance Training
Can Increase Longevity And Improve Quality Of Life

As we age, our bodies experience a series of changes that often make everyday activities more difficult. Decreased flexibility, a decline in posture, and pain within one or more joints are just a few of the many changes that frequently occur throughout the aging process. These types of changes can lead to decreased mobility and less physical activity, which can in turn diminish one’s quality of life and potentially lead to psychological issues like depression and anxiety.

Although age-related changes are completely normal, it doesn’t mean they are unavoidable. Healthy aging in a way that preserves your mobility, physical function, and quality of life is possible, and its leading ingredient is simple: regular exercise and physical activity.

Keeping Active is Essential to Overall Health at All Stages of life

You’ve probably heard the phrase “No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping people on the couch!”  In other words, it’s really important to be active as we age; it’s particularly valuable once a person enters their 60s and 70s because it can extend and enhance life. That’s why we strongly encourage all older adults to find ways to become more physically active every day, whether that’s by taking a daily walk—or two—doing yard work, cleaning, or other household chores, or even practicing a sport recreational activity. But beyond this, at Bacci & Glinn Physical Therapy we can also provide personalized exercise and fitness programs for any individual interested in becoming more active.

A Goal-Oriented, Personalized Physical Therapy Program is Important

All physical therapy exercise programs are individualized for each patient’s needs, abilities, and goals, and most include a variety of balance, stretching, and strengthening exercises to improve one’s overall fitness level. Strengthening, or resistance exercises, help to build strength and increase stability—which can reduce the risk for certain injuries—but this type of training may provide other benefits that transcend beyond strength as well.

Scientists Look for Additional Benefits of Resistance Training

To investigate these purported benefits, a systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted. This type of study involved researchers reviewing studies on resistance training for adults aged 60 years and older that were identified in a comprehensive search of five major medical databases. A thorough review and analysis of 21 studies revealed that resistance training led to a variety of both physical and mental benefits. In particular, resistance training significantly improved physical functioning, mental health, bodily pain, general health, social functioning, depression, upper- and lower-limb muscle strength, and handgrip muscle strength.

The Right Choice – A Physical Therapist-Led Exercise Program

These findings underscore the extreme value of resistance training for older adults and show that its benefits are widespread in both physical and mental arenas. Given the innumerable health risks associated with aging if physical activity is neglected, we strongly encourage you to consider a fitness program custom designed for your specific needs (and taking into account your physical impairments) to improve your health and reduce your injury risk.

If you’re interested in learning more or would like to schedule an appointment, contact Bacci & Glinn Physical Therapy at 559-733-2478 (Visalia) or 559-582-1027 (Hanford).

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