Ageing has been associated with the increased risk of developing many chronic diseases including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sarcopenia (reduced muscle mass)
All of which are capable of limiting functional capacity, independence, and quality of life.
What are the benefits of training
Research has shown that the declines in strength and mobility in age can be reduced and combated by increasing ones physical activity. Regular aerobic and resistance training in older adults has been demonstrated to:
- Increase cardiorespiratory and muscle fitness
- Improve daily health and function
- Decrease body fat mass and increase lean muscle mass (i.e., improve body composition)
- Increase energy metabolism
- Decrease sarcopenia (reduced muscle mass)
- Improve bone mineral density
- Decrease fall susceptibility
Regular resistance training done 2-3 days per week can build muscle strength and mass, improve balance and coordination and preserve bone density. Resistance training will also reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.
Prevention of falls
Furthermore, falling in older adults is one of the major risks that older adults face as it can lead to disability, loss of mobility, reduced quality of life and fear of falling. It is now clear that a structured exercise program can help prevent falls in older adults, and exercise interventions can reduce the risk and rate of falls in older people by between 17% and 34%.
Resistance training is crucial in maintaining and improving one’s health and wellbeing in the later stages of life, as it will not only improve but combat the decline in normal daily functions and reduce the risk of chronic disease common in later life. Overall the effect of resistance training on older adults is that it will greatly improve their daily function and mobility.