IS AGE JUST A NUMBER?
Strength training is one of the most important things anyone can do to combat the effects of aging. The benefits of exercise go well beyond just physical strength. Exercise can help with brain health, bone health, our nervous system and our moods. However, it is important to do the right type of exercises. Doing weight baring exercises should be done in a safe and responsible manner. Though there are many benefits to exercising in our older years, there could be some risks involved as well. It is important, if possible, to look for professional guidance.
When we think of strength training we imagine a young person, with big muscles, lifting big weights. But the reality of weightlifting is that the amount of weight, intensity and complexity of the movements are all based on the individual's abilities and goals. It is important to understand that though it is all called "weightlifting" the amount of weight and intensity is dependent on the person doing it. Exercise at an older age is simply adjusted according to your abilities, needs and concerns.
BALANCE AND STABILITY
It is not just about the weights. One of the most important elements of exercise as we get older is the development of balance and stability throughout our entire body. This means balance when we stand, walk or kneel. It also means the ability to move comfortably though life. Without working on your balance and stability your weightlifting and strength will be limited and less efficient.
REPETITIONS OVER LOAD
Another element to keep in mind is that when you get older sometimes the repetitions you perform are more beneficial than the amount of weight you are able to lift. Focusing on repetitions allows your body to build strength more safely and gives your joints the time to adapt and recover. If you think you'll be jumping into lifting big weights, that is not the case.
One of the changes that happen with age is the ability to recover. Both from workouts and from injuries. This is usually due to the change in circulation to our joints and muscle tissue. This is why it is important to do exercise that is just challenging enough to help you get stronger, but not so challenging that we risk injury or cause long recovery cycles.
The name of the game is patience when it comes to your fitness over sixty.