It does not matter if it is your 15th birthday or 50th, believe us when we say, strength training is meant for all ages. Though the intensity may vary, strength training does not mean restricting yourself to gym-bound or age-bound exercises. Today, we are going to look at why older adults need not be afraid of strength training, and how strength training can also benefit children, if supervised well.
Strength Training For Adults
An average 30 year old can expect to lose around 25% of the muscle mass and strength by the age of 70 and another 25% when he reaches the 90 mark. Decline in strength can be regained by older adults by performing strength training. In fact it is more important for older adults to strength train and maintain adequate muscle tone, as in old age one tends to lose muscle mass and bone density rapidly - contributing to overall weakness and weight gain. Maintaining bone density through strength training will help you overcome commone old age issues like easy sprains, osteoporosis, back problems and joint aches.
Additionally, if your muscles are stronger then they can pluck much better nutrients and oxygen from your blood. This consequently means that any kind of activity will put less pressure on your heart making your body sensitive to insulin. On an average, strength training burns up to 8 to 10 calories per minute. These exercises aid in giving you a large metabolic spike which means that it increases your overall resting metabolism and muscle power. Other than these benefits, strong muscles in old age will also help in keeping blood sugar levels in check, thus keeping diabetes at bay.
However, one should be careful while performing the exercises as over-stressing yourself might pose a serious risk to your joints, leading to fractures and at times fatal complication. We say, exercise in moderation and under a good trainer’s supervision and you’ll do just fine.
Strength Training For Kids
Fitness expert Wanitha Ashok says, “Kids can do weight baring exercises as it has a positive effect on the bone mass gain. This is the time that bones are peeking up and it is advisable to opt for any weight baring exercises using light weights or their own body weight. Lifting heavy weights like body builders in the gym is not necessary. And weight baring exercises do not stunt the growth in kids.”
“If, I may use my own example”, says strength and fitness coach - Arnav Sarkar, “I started lifting weights when I was about 14 and ended up a little more than 6 feet. Arnold Schwarzenegger began around 15 and he was more than 6 feet, and so were many other top bodybuilders. Clearly weight lifting did not limit our growth! One’s height is determined greatly by their genetics and to some extent their food habits. Strength training will not stop your child from growing tall. On the other hand, the exercise one gets from it might actually help to some extent.”
Word of caution: Strength training requires initial trainer supervision to learn correct form and practise as it is imperative to understand and know how to perform these exercises safely and correctly.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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