Goods of the Body: Aging or Enjoying?

by Brenda on September 22, 2007

It’s not too late, Baby!

Think of the ‘senior citizens’ you know. Probably some are limited by their lack of mobility, many health problems, and frequent mental lapses. But alternatively, some you know are vital, vibrant and enjoying an active life. What causes this difference? It could be simply genetics, but studies even with octogenarians have shown that balance, strength, agility, flexibility, bone mass density, and mental acuity all improve with proper exercise utilizing weights, cardio, and stretching:

“Strengthening exercises, when done properly and through the full range of motion, increase a person’s flexibility and balance, which decrease the likelihood and severity of falls. One study in New Zealand in women 80 years of age and older showed a 40% reduction in falls with simple strength and balance training.” 1

“Post-menopausal women can lose 1-2% of their bone mass annually. Results from a study conducted at Tufts University, which were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1994, showed that strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk for fractures among women aged 50-70.”2

“One 12-month study conducted on postmenopausal women at Tufts University demonstrated 1% gains in hip and spine bone density, 75% increases in strength and 13% increases in dynamic balance with just two days per week of progressive strength training. The control group had losses in bone, strength, and balance. Strength training programs can also have a profound effect on reducing risk for falls, which translates to fewer fractures.” 3

“Evans and Rosenberg and their colleagues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Center on Aging at Tufts University have found that “the muscles of elderly people are just as responsive to weight training as those of younger people.” Startlingly, an 8-week program of strength training by 87- to 96-year-old women confined to a nursing home resulted in a tripling of strength and a muscle-size increase of ten percent.”4

Hmm, which would I choose- now this is a hard one- work out regularly and feel young, or don’t work out and decline quickly with physical and mental limitations. Hand me those dumbbells!

No matter your current age: start now! Don’t be afraid to try out your local gym. Nowadays, you will see patrons there of all ages, shapes, and abilities. Don’t know what to do? Gyms usually have certified personal trainers available on site to help you get started. You will be surprised at how much better you will feel, with more energy, and a more positive outlook on life!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Julio October 1, 2007 at 5:46 pm

And who is the author of these erudite posts?

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