The importance and value of strength training to not only older populations but to people in general (regardless of age) for overall health, wellbeing, and prevention of degradation cannot be stated enough.
“High intensity resistance training (above 60% of the 1 repetition maximum) causes large increases in strength in the elderly, and resistance training significantly increases muscle size. Resistance training also significantly increases energy requirements and insulin action of the elderly. We recently demonstrated that resistance training has a positive effect on multiple risk factors for osteoporotic fractures in previously sedentary post-menopausal women.”
Weight training not only helps with fat loss and muscle building, but it can also correct muscular and postural imbalances. These imbalances occur over time from lack of movement, sitting/leaning all day at work, sitting hunched over on the couch watching television, while on the computer and while talking on the telephone. Strength training can alleviate pain in joints, make walking up and down steps easier, and help standing and sitting without pain or discomfort. It can also improve and strengthen the heart, help prevent injury by way of slips and falls, and reduce the tendency to develop arthritis or other old-age related problems.
Exercise in and of itself must be looked at with eyes not determining “good” vs “bad”. What is appropriate, safe and effective must prevail and that requires a connectedness to one’s own body. What I’m trying to communicate is that analysis of ones state of health is often based on minimal information, and in itself, categorical. We must think in terms of integration, in gradual progression, and in respect for our self and one another to facilitate space for growth and confidence.