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Seniors should make strength training a routine

July 16, 2012

Many older adults make regular exercise part of their retirement, but experts say they should do more than focus on cardiovascular activities. Strength training is an important part of senior living as it helps avoid the muscle loss that's often associated with growing older, the Cypress Creek Mirror reports.

Strength training is crucial for a number of reasons, but perhaps most importantly it greatly lowers the risk of suffering a fall, which is one of the biggest health threats to older adults. Along with improving strength, such exercises improve balance and bone strength, both of which play a role in avoiding falls.

In a similar vein, improved muscle strength will make day-to-day activities a bit easier for older adults as well, the newspaper reports. Muscle weakness is one of the biggest reasons for frailty, so resistance training will help seniors maintain their independence later in life.

While resistance training offers a number of physical benefits, researchers have found that lifting weights may also boost brain function. A study from earlier this year found that older women may be able to stave off dementia and cognitive decline by following a strength training routine, HealthDay News reports.