With the world more focused on image now than ever before, it’s no wonder most people, especially women, find it difficult to be satisfied with the number they see on the scale. New diet books hit the shelves ever month claiming to be the miracle cure for our nations obesity epidemic. Innovative workouts and at home DVDs promise to have you into size 2 in just 6 weeks! The pressure to lose weight is all around us, it should come at no surprise that people of all ages are affected by this pressure, even seniors. My own Grandmother is currently on that one diet where you eat 20 carbs a day and focus on meats and cheeses (I left the name out for legal purposes). She has a goal weight in mind and is determined to get there.
When it comes to keeping our seniors healthy and safe though, the focus should be less on following a strict diet to cut some pounds, and more on strength training. While we may not think of seniors when we hear the word “weightlifting”, the CDC suggests that aging adults should engage in muscle-building activities at least two times per week. What’s more, a study from Spain’s University of Navarre found that even adults over the age of 90 can see improvements in their balance, walking speed, and physical function by following a strength-training program.
These findings, recently published in the journal “Age” are based on analysis of 24 people between ages 91 and 96. One group participated in a 12 week strength-training program including a twice a week work outs, while the other group did not. Researchers found that not only did the group that participated in the strength-training program improve their muscle strength and increase muscle mass in their lower limbs; it also dramatically decreased their risk of a fall! Now that is something worth talking to your loved ones about! We’ve discussed some simple, at-home exercises in our previous blog “A Fun and Simple Exercise to Improve Strength and Prevent Falls”. If you have a workout regiment that works for you, share it with us!