Why Your Parents Should Strength Train
Exercise, besides nutrition, is fundamental to staying healthy. We know this for ourselves and our children, but how often do we apply these same guidelines to our parents? As they get older, their mobility, appetite, and overall quality of life decreases, and it may be easy to chalk this up to aging or getting older; however, our parents can maintain as well as improve their quality of life just by following the same guidelines we do.
Of course, the types of exercise may be limited due to overall joint or cardiovascular health, but that is where we come in. Our workout may be intense, and you may be wondering how the hell your parents are supposed to do it. Though our workout feels almost impossible, it actually stems from osteoporosis research. Our exercise protocol is no-impact and extremely safe unlike traditional exercise approaches which advocate for faster, more frequent reps. This increases the risk of injury, especially as we age. Contrastingly, our protocol advocates for a longer recovery time, making it the perfect protocol for our parents – even in their most deconditioned state.
The scientific name for losing muscle mass due to aging is called “Sarcopenia.” If you don’t incorporate resistance training into your exercise routine, you can actually lose 3-5% of your muscle mass each decade after you hit 30. This doesn’t seem like a lot at first, but with this compounded loss over time without any intervention it becomes increasingly difficult to perform daily tasks and falling becomes a scarier possibility in daily life. Strength training is possible at any age, and can drastically improve the quality of life. It can provide relief from arthritis, as it takes pressure off the painful joints by strengthening the ligaments and tendons that surround it. It also lowers your blood sugar. More glucose control decreases risks or diabetes and even dementia.
Watching your mum, dad, or even aunt do our workout would be really impressive on its own, but what’s even more impressive is the gains they can make. The results from the initial testing of the protocol were astounding. Those completing the workout noticed a strength increase of 50%. That’s HUGE! Though we would all love a 50% strength increase (and definitely could by working out at Evolved Health!), the impact that this strength increase can have on our older population is profound. Not only does it give them increased mobility and energy, but it also improves their balance thereby reducing the risk of falling. Further and perhaps most importantly, an increase in strength for seniors means more independence.
Bring your mum, dad, aunt, or whoever in for a workout, and watch both their strength and confidence rapidly increase.