The world of fitness is filled with different strategies to combat the inevitable -- aging. As we age, we often become more dependent, less mobile, and in a general sense, much weaker. Fitness professionals always seem to have the magic diet, the magic pill, the magic procedure to stay young. But, the modality that truly stands the test of time remains the same -- resistance training. Resistance training for middle-aged and even elderly individuals is not only safe, but has tremendous benefits including injury prevention and cognitive improvements, and can also provide a healthy balance to individuals’ nutrition -- all leading to an improved quality of life.
Resistance training, when done correctly, is not only one of the safest forms of exercise, but it actually prevents future injuries from occurring. It does this by strengthening both muscle tissue and connective tissue as well. Along with strengthening the tissues that hold humans together, resistance training increases overall motor control and coordination: the ability to move and control your body, and the QUALITY in which your body moves. This leads to a lower risk of compensatory patterns and an increased quality of life as the individual will become more independent with activities of daily living.
There are also tremendous amounts of cognitive benefits with resistance training. Aside from the feeling of accomplishment after a training session, a study from the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine titled Mental Health Benefits of Strength Training in Adults  shows that resistance training also leads to a reduction in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and fatigue, as well as pain intensity or the perception of pain. A reduction in these symptoms will keep the individual mentally acute and alert as they move throughout their day. Resistance training also leads to improved sleep and self-esteem. Therefore, not only is resistance training beneficial for cognitive function and energy throughout the day but it also promotes the ability to rest and recover optimally to prepare for another full day of movement and life.
The physical benefits of resistance training are probably the most obvious. An increase in muscle size and a decrease in fat tissue will lead to improved body composition. With an increase in lean body mass, our body will be able to metabolize carbohydrates more efficiently. Simply put, the more lean body mass an individual has, the more carbs they will be able to consume and utilize efficiently instead of having a spike in insulin resulting in fat gain. This gives the individual more freedom with their nutrition to enjoy a more balanced life without having as many negative effects on the body.
Resistance training oftentimes receives a bad reputation. It’s “dangerous” and only meant for the young and able. But in reality, along with a healthy lifestyle, personalized nutritional practices, and a workout plan that is unique to each individual, resistance training has incredible benefits for keeping the human body strong, mobile, and ultimately, younger.
Still skeptical? Here are the stories from some of our clients on how they discovered resistance training later in life and how it’s impacted their health and ability to thrive in doing what they love!
Colleen Darrah, Age 60
Charles Fry, Age 55
Jen Seay, Age 48
David Cotton, Age 60
To get started on your journey to becoming a healthier, stronger (and younger!) version of yourself, schedule a FREE strategy session with a professional coach below!
Oconnor, P. J., Herring, M. P., & Caravalho, A. (2010). Mental Health Benefits of Strength Training in Adults. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 4(5), 377–396. doi: 10.1177/1559827610368771