Can Seniors Extend Life Expectancy Through Strength Training?

An older man holds two hand weights, since strength training may extend life expectancy while improving health.
Strength training for seniors may extend life expectancy while providing a plethora of other health benefits.

While the benefits of ongoing cardio and aerobic exercise are well documented, including reducing risk of such chronic conditions as diabetes and heart disease, Penn State College of Medicine, Columbia University, and the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center have now released additional encouraging results from a new study. Seniors who add strength training to their exercise routine for as little as just twice a week are able to extend life expectancy.

And, as if that weren’t incentive enough, regular strength training can improve muscle function and mass, reduce obesity and lower back pain, and more. Yet sadly, the percentage of older adults who report including strength training in their weekly routines is as few as 9%.

The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine have jointly released a recommendation that twice-weekly strength training be incorporated into the routine of all adults. So how can you get started with helping someone you love achieve the incredible benefits of strength training?

  1. Talk to the doctor. The first step before starting or changing any exercise program is a consultation with the primary care physician. They can recommend appropriate strength training exercises or approve an exercise plan you have in mind.
  2. Provide motivation. Getting started and sticking with a new exercise routine isn’t always easy. Working out with the person allows you to encourage and motivate each other, and makes it more fun, too. Decide on a reward for reaching particular milestones, such as a lunch date after three weeks of following the program.
  3. Reassess regularly. Check in routinely to make sure the exercise routine isn’t too challenging, or not challenging enough. If the person feels frustrated with an inability to accomplish exercises, they’re more likely to give up on them. Likewise, if the exercises are too easy, they may feel as though they’re a waste of time.

At JFS Care, our caregivers love helping seniors meet their strength training requirements. Some of the many ways we can help include:

  • Transportation and accompaniment to the gym or exercise class
  • Companionship to motivate and encourage the senior to stick with the program
  • Hands-on support to ensure safety and prevent falls
  • Help with light housekeeping, meal prep, laundry, etc. to give the senior plenty of time for exercise and other fun activities
  • And more

We’re pleased to provide services throughout Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and the surrounding areas. Contact us at 213-383-2273 to get started on a healthier lifestyle for someone you love!