Studies over recent years show that – or weight lifting as it’s also called, can have a noticeable impact on a person’s health as they age. The increase in the aging population has led to public health issues regarding inactivity – and there remains a definite need for strength and activity training for seniors. As a result, researchers, professional organizations, and the private industry have developed the Active Aging Toolkit to help healthcare providers prescribe physical activity programs for their patients.
The First Step to Active Health® provides an evidence-based, progressive activity program. The goal of the program is to improve health and functional ability, to promote independence, and to help prevent chronic disease and disability in adults over the age of 50. The program includes a step-by-step approach to improve your physical abilities with a variety of simple activities, including cardiovascular, aerobic, flexibility, strength, and balance activities. The First Step is an example of an older adult physical activity programs.
Experts say that strengthening exercises – particularly if started conservatively and progressing at a slow rate, are safe, beneficial and effective for almost all older adults, even to some extent, those with serious health conditions. If you have health concerns or if you are currently inactive, speak to your physician about activities that could be suitable for you. A good resource to help you find safe exercise programs is the “Easy Exercise and Screening for You” tool.
Almost all older adults can safely participate in physical activity for example walking or gardening for at least 30 minutes a day, on most days of the week. There’s now an easy way to find the best activity for you. The EASY tool helps you know when to see a health care provider and how to choose activities for optimal benefit given your particular health conditions or situations.
If you feel that you need a personal trainer, you could start by asking your physician or healthcare provider or you may want to contact a good health club or fitness facility in your area. There are several reputable websites where it’s possible to locate a good trainer at Idea Fit. Alternatively, America’s Council of Exercise . Get Fit offers an international solution in finding a personal trainer.
If joining a fitness club is an option for you, there are a growing number of niche gyms and fitness programs specifically for people over 50. These are a few that are located in United States that may suit your needs: Club 50, Nifty after Fifty and SilverSneakers although there are many more, but this small list gives you an idea of what to look for.
If you’re located in the Edinburgh (Scotland) area then Edinburgh Leisure have a great deal of information on activity programs for seniors. Total Gym – UK have many activity programs and fitness solutions for older adults.
A worthy strength training tool designed for seniors is the Resistance Chair, which is an all-in-one home fitness system that helps seniors maintain and improve their strength with minimal injury risk.
For maximum health benefits, it’s best to combine strength training with an aerobic activity i.e. or swimming, as well as regular stretching exercises to keep your body supple.