Hollenbeck Palms

Benefits of resistance training for older adults

After finishing your usual morning jog or walk and feeling invigorated, you may be left wondering how you can take your physical activity to the next level. This is a common scenario for many older adults looking to maintain their strength and mobility as they age.

Maintaining strength and mobility is crucial. Recent research highlights the significant benefits of high-intensity resistance training for older adults. This type of training involves performing exercises that use resistance to build muscle strength and endurance through focused workouts.

High-intensity workouts preserve muscle function

The findings, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, revealed that those who engaged in high-intensity resistance training maintained their leg strength over the study period, while the other groups experienced a decline. This indicates that such training can effectively counteract age-related muscle loss, promoting better mobility and a lower risk of falls and injuries.

The study involved more than 400 adults with an average age of 71, assigning them to one of three exercise routines for a year. One group performed high-intensity resistance training with weights at a gym three times per week. Another group engaged in moderate-intensity resistance training using body weight and resistance bands, doing these exercises once per week at a hospital and twice per week at home. The control group continued their usual exercise habits without any additional guidance.

The study found that participants who engaged in high-intensity resistance workouts maintained their leg strength throughout the year, while those in the other groups experienced a decline.

Better mobility means greater independence, allowing people to enjoy daily activities without assistance or discomfort. This can mean being able to play with your grandchildren in the park effortlessly or navigating a busy grocery store with ease. A lower risk of falls and injuries translates to fewer hospital visits and a higher quality of life, giving seniors the freedom to engage in the hobbies and activities they love without constant worry and stress.

The importance of gradually increasing intensity

For older adults, it’s crucial to start resistance training at a manageable level, gradually increasing the intensity to avoid injuries. This method helps to safely build strength and improve balance, both essential for maintaining independence and overall health.

By beginning with lighter weights or fewer repetitions, seniors can progressively challenge their muscles and adapt to more strenuous activities over time. This gradual increase ensures that their bodies adjust properly, reducing the risk of strain or injury.

Some sample exercises include:

  • Resistance band rows: Using a resistance band, perform rowing motions to strengthen the back and shoulders.
  • Toe stands with resistance bands: Stand on a resistance band, hold the ends, and rise onto your toes, then lower back down. This exercise strengthens the calves and improves balance.
  • Ankle circles with resistance bands: Sit in a chair, secure a resistance band around your ankles, and rotate your ankles in circles to maintain flexibility and joint mobility.
  • Towel squeeze with resistance bands: Hold a resistance band with both hands and squeeze it tightly. This exercise helps improve grip strength.

Wellness and Fitness at Hollenbeck Palms

At Hollenbeck Palms, the best Los Angeles retirement community, we recognize the importance of physical fitness for our residents. Our state-of-the-art fitness facilities and wellness programs are tailored to help seniors maintain their strength and mobility. With a dedicated personal trainer on staff, we provide customized fitness plans that cater to each resident’s needs.

The wellness program at Hollenbeck Palms includes a variety of activities, from resistance training to balance exercises, ensuring comprehensive support for an active and healthy lifestyle. Hollenbeck Palms also features a fully equipped gym and numerous exercise classes offered daily.

For residents seeking more social physical activities, we offer a nine-hole putting green, shuffleboard and many opportunities for scenic walks around the campus garden. Those who prefer quiet contemplation can relax by our koi pond, designed by a former resident.

To learn more about the vibrant community and exceptional amenities at Hollenbeck Palms, email [email protected] or call 323.307.4505.