Updated: May 24
The benefits of strength training are many and varied for people of all ages, but the importance of this type of exercise for older adults is becoming clearer as more research is done.
Here are just a few of the reported benefits of weight training for older adults:
1. Increased energy
Regular exercise is known to increase our energy levels — and weight training is no exception!
2. Decreased risk of injury
As we age, we lose muscle mass and are thus more prone to injury. But weight training strengthens muscles, which in turn protects joints and other areas that frequently fall victim to injury over the years.
3. Increased bone density
Weak bones can impair our ability to perform everyday tasks — and, of course, lead to broken bones. But regular weight-bearing activity, like weight training, has been shown to increase bone density in older adults. This makes it another great weapon against injury, especially for women, who lose a great deal of bone density after menopause.
4. Better movement
This may sound strange, but it’s true that learning proper form in weight training changes the way you move outside the gym, too. And that leads to better body mechanics, like balance and flexibility.
5. Improved cognitive function
This is an amazing benefit of strength training that has been studied extensively over the last few years. Studies have found that regular exercise helps improve cognitive function, especially in older adults, with particular improvement in the area of memory.
Research has also found that weight training, like many forms of exercise, contributes to better sleep patterns, which often correlates with improvement in depressive adults.
6. Improvement in chronic conditions
Recent research has set out to prove that older adults who regularly train with weights showed improvement in chronic conditions like diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, and lower back pain.