Being healthy requires the consideration of many different areas. Nutrition, exercise, sleep, mental health…the list goes on. Perhaps two areas that many people neglect as they get older are balance and muscular strength.
It seems that many people stop resistance training when they get older. Perhaps the reason is different for each person, but there is ample scientific evidence supporting the benefits of resistance training for the elderly. To name a few reasons, it helps to prevent bone demineralization (osteoporosis), maintains a healthy body mass and can maintain or improve our functional capacity. Examples of the functional benefits include carrying groceries, walking the dog, cutting the grass and other daily activities that life may throw at you.
Another area that seems to be neglected by many people is balance / proprioception. Can you stand on one foot? It is surprising that many people aren’t able to properly balance on one foot, something that most of us could do quite naturally in our youth. If you think about it logically, you’ll have very little chance of staying upright if you slip on some ice this winter if you can’t even balance for a few seconds on one foot. So what can you do about it? Practise!
A common suggestion is to practise your balance / proprioception while you brush your teeth. It’s a simple way to make sure you squeeze it into your daily routine. It’s as simple as it sounds. Balance on one foot while you brush your teeth. With time, your ability to stand on one foot should improve and may assist in preventing falls or even responding properly to a fall should it occur.
Next step…talk to your doctor or health practitioner about whether resistance training is appropriate for you. More often than not it is, but some individual strategies for your level of experience and health may be important to move forward with strength training safely. Need help? Give us a call! Our practitioners at Burlington Sports Therapy are well qualified to assist!