lunes, 14 de mayo de 2018

Strength and Power Training for Older Adults - Harvard Health

Strength and Power Training for Older Adults - Harvard Health
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Want to live longer and better? Do strength training

 Strength and Power Training
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Regular physical activity promotes general good health, reduces the risk of developing many diseases, and helps you live a longer and healthier life. For many of us, "exercise" means walking, jogging, treadmill work, or other activities that get the heart pumping.
But often overlooked is the value of strength-building exercises. Once you reach your 50s and beyond, strength (or resistance) training is critical to preserving the ability to perform the most ordinary activities of daily living — and to maintaining an active and independent lifestyle.
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Strength and Power Training for All Ages
Studies attest that strength training, as well as aerobic exercise, can help you manage and sometimes prevent conditions as varied as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and osteoporosis. It can also protect vitality, make everyday tasks more manageable, and help you maintain a healthy weight. Strength and Power Training for Older Adults answers your strength training questions and helps you develop a program that's right for you.

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The average 30-year-old will lose about a quarter of his or her muscle strength by age 70 and half of it by age 90. "Just doing aerobic exercise is not adequate," says Dr. Robert Schreiber, physician-in-chief at Hebrew SeniorLife and an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Unless you are doing strength training, you will become weaker and less functional."
What is strength training?
Strength training encompasses any of the following:
  • Free weights, such as barbells and dumbbells
  • Ankle cuffs and vests containing different amounts of weight
  • Resistance (elastic) bands of varying length and tension that you flex using your arms and legs
  • Exercises that use your body weight to create resistance against gravity.
How much do you need?
A beginner's strength-building workout takes as little as 20 minutes, and you won't need to grunt, strain, or sweat like a cartoon bodybuilder, either. The key is developing a well-rounded program, performing the exercises with good form, and being consistent. You will experience noticeable gains in strength within four to eight weeks.
Getting started
Buying your own equipment is one option. Sets of basic introductory-weight dumbbells cost $50-$100. Health clubs offer the most equipment choices, but of course, you have to pay monthly fees. Books and videos can help you learn some basic moves and start developing a routine. Many senior centers and adult education programs offer strength training classes, as well.
However you start, go slow so you don't injure yourself. Discuss your new exercise plan with your doctor and explain the level of workout you expect to achieve. Mild to moderate muscle soreness between workouts is normal, but back off if it persists more than a few days.
For more information on the benefits of strength training, buy Strength and Power Training, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

5 weight training tips for people with arthritis

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Strength training is good for just about everyone. It's especially beneficial for people with arthritis. When properly done as part of a larger exercise program, strength training helps them support and protect joints, not to mention ease pain, stiffness, and possibly swelling. Yet, the thought of starting a weight training program can be daunting to many arthritis sufferers.
If you have arthritis and want to incorporate strength training into your health routine, these tips can help you get started.
  1. Work with a physiatrist, physical therapist, or certified personal trainer who has experience working with people who have arthritis to design and adapt exercises that will work for you. Your goal should be to include strength training, flexibility activities that enhance range of motion, and aerobic activities that avoid further stress on joints (such as water exercise or the use of elliptical machines).
  2. Schedule workouts for times of the day when you are least likely to suffer from inflammation and pain. Avoid exercising when stiffness is at its worst.
  3. If you have rheumatoid arthritis or another form of inflammatory arthritis, it's important to warm up using gentle stretches before beginning a strength training session. Remember to use slow movements during your warmup, and gradually extend your range of motion.
  4. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, balance rest and exercise carefully. Generally, you should avoid doing strength training with actively inflamed joints, at least until the inflammation eases. In some cases, water workouts may be a better choice than strength training.
  5. Exercise within a comfortable range of motion. If an exercise or movement causes significant pain, stop doing it! Discuss your options with a trainer or physical therapist.
For more information on the benefits of strength training, buy Strength and Power Training, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

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Strength and Power Training

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The basics: Strength training, power training, and your muscles
The health benefits of power and strength training
Getting starting
Safety first
Designing your program
• ... and more!

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