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How Strength Training Can Increase Longevity

By Dian Brannen, 9:00 am on

It’s no secret that a healthy lifestyle equates to a longer lifespan. A new study involving seniors takes that concept a bit further, suggesting that twice-weekly strength training exercises may be the key to living longer. Read on to learn more, presented by Allentown Home Care Assistance.

Long-Term Strength Training Benefits

Involving approximately 30,000 adults 65 and older, the comprehensive study is the first of its kind to suggest a link between strength training and reduced mortality. Researchers determined that seniors who met strength training guidelines at least twice a week had a lower risk of dying, even when taking overall health, disease, and disability into consideration.

More Effective Than Physical Activity Alone

This new research suggests that strength training may be more effective than random periods of physical activity, although it’s generally agreed the regular exercise can help seniors reduce their risk of developing conditions like heart disease and diabetes. The study found that seniors who strength trained at least twice weekly reduced their risk of mortality by nearly 50 percent.

An Incentive to Recommend Strength Training

Results of the study, which included data from a five year period, provide an added incentive for doctors to include strength training recommendations among suggested physical activities for older patients. Both the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association recommend twice-weekly strength training for all adults. Recommendations specific to seniors include:

  • 2-3 non-consecutive days of exercise per week
  • 8-10 exercises involving major muscle groups
  • Rest days to allow for an appropriate recovery
  • At least 1 set of 10-15 reps per exercise

Previous studies have already shown that strength training can help improve muscle mass and increase overall physical functioning. Benefits for seniors also include improvements with chronic conditions and better management of low back pain. A physical therapist or fitness trainer can provide guidance for seniors looking to develop an effective strength training routine.

While we are known for our comprehensive dementia and Alzheimer’s care in Allentown, we also offer flexible part-time care plans to ensure seniors who live independently have the support needed to remain safe and healthy in the comfort of home. To learn more about how our care services can promote your loved one’s overall wellbeing, give us a call at 484-350-3874 and schedule a free in-hoe consultation today.