Strength Training – How Does It Work and What Are the Benefits?
You’ve heard all about the recommendation that adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day. Your mom goes for walks with her dog, but that’s all she does. Her doctor recommends that she start adding strength training to her daily routine.
What is strength training? What types of activities does it cover, and how are they going to help her? Learn more about the benefits of strength training and tips for getting started.
The Benefits of Strength Training
Strength training involves exercises that build and strengthen the muscles you have. As you strengthen the muscles, it improves balance and coordination. It reduces the risk of falling. You also improve bone density.
Osteoporosis affects approximately 10 million men and women in the U.S. When you strengthen the muscles, it also helps maintain the bones. Strength training reduces your mom’s chances of developing osteoporosis.
Strength training also helps lower the risk of other chronic health conditions and improves flexibility. Plus, strong muscles and joints can help prevent severe arthritis pain.
A 2015 study looked at the health data for close to 400,000 adults up to 80. Those who completed strength training exercises twice a week were less likely to have conditions like obesity and diabetes.
Aim For Twice a Week
Your mom wants to work on strength training exercises two days a week. The best fitness plan is one that varies the activities. She could walk twice a week, do strength training twice a week, and ride a bike or swim laps on the other days.
What types of activities should she engage in? Strength training workouts focus on the muscles in different areas of the body. One day, she could do legs and hips. On the next day, she could do her arms and shoulders. Abs and back muscles round out her plan. If she keeps circling through these areas, she’ll find muscle strength improves within weeks.
Getting Started With Strength Training
Ask your mom’s doctor if it would be advisable to have her work with a physical therapist. If she has health issues or has fallen in the past, it’s a good idea to have her work with therapists. She’ll target her strength training to match her wellness goals.
If her doctor says there are no limitations as long as she doesn’t push herself too hard, start with beginner videos. Some require equipment like weights or resistance bands. Decide if that’s worth the expense. Otherwise, look for videos that don’t require equipment.
With home care services, she stays safe when she lives alone by having help with daily chores. This is important if she has fallen in the past. She also gains companionship, which makes a difference when it comes to staying motivated with exercise routines. Call a home care agency to make arrangements.