Relief from Arthritis
Tufts University recently completed a strength training program with older men and women with moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis. The results of this 16 week program showed that strength training decreased pain by 43%, increased muscle strength and general physical performance, improved the clinical signs and symptoms of the disease, and decreased disability. The strength training also eased the pain of osteoarthritis just as effectively as medications. Similar effects have been seen on patients with rheumatoid arthritis who also participated in strength training.
Improved Balance and Fall Reduction
Unfortunately, poor balance and decreased flexibility come with older age, which leads to falls and broken bones. Significant disability can result from the fractures caused by these falls, and in some cases, they can be fatal. When done properly, and this means using full range of motion, strength training workouts can increase balance and flexibility. A study in New Zealand in women age 80 and up showed a 40% reduction in falls with simple strength and balance training.
Improved Bone Strength
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1994 conducted by Tufts University showed that strength training increases bone density and reduces fracture rick among women age 50 to 70. Post-menopausal women can lose 1-2% of their bone mass every year.
Improved Glucose Levels
Over the past 40 years, there has been a staggering 300% increase in type II diabetes, and the numbers continue to climb. In addition to being at greater risk of renal and heart disease, diabetes is also the leading cause of blindness. In a recent study involving Hispanic men and women, 16 weeks of strength training produced dramatic improvements in glucose levels that are equivalent to taking diabetes medication. The study also that the participants were stronger, gained muscle and lost body fat.
What Research Says About Strength Training
Scientific research has shown that exercise is the best way to maintain health and slow aging. While aerobic exercises have excellent health benefits, including heart and lung health, they do not strengthen muscles. Lifting weights 2 to 3 times a week builds muscle mass and increase bone density.
Smile Senior Care says a little exercise goes a long way. Start strength training today and see improvements in your health and possibly lighten your medication load. As with any exercise program, please consult with your physician before starting a strength training regimen.