Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Resistance training good for heart health?

From the American Heart Association...

"Research shows that when properly supervised and prescribed in the light of a patient's history and condition, whether they have cardiovascular disease or not, resistance training increases muscular strength, endurance, independence, and ability to perform a large range of activities. It reduces disability and enhances quality of life. Other benefits include increase in bone mineral density and lean body mass."

In their recently updated public statement (a full pdf version can be found here) on weight lifitng and heart disease, the AHA has recommended doctors encourage their patients to participate in strength training exercise.

Anyone in the fitness industry worth their credentials on the wall could have told you this years ago. I don't know how many older clients I've trained that walked at least twice as fast once their session was over compared to when it started - no comments about trying to get away from me as fast as possible either :-).

But it's good to know that an organization the size of the AHA is getting serious about weight training for heart health. As we age, health becomes our main concern. And rightfully so. If we can't live independently, the golden years are less enjoyable.

Resistance training increases our ability to live independently. We are stronger. Our joints are more mobile. And, importantly, our balance is better by default. So what other benefits could be more important? If you have some better (or if I've left something important out), please let me know.

If you're not lifting weights, start a program now. It's never too late. There are even fitness centers that cater to those 55 and older. Additionally, most clubs will offer a discount to senior citizens. If the one you're looking into doesn't, go somewhere else.

Until next time, lift weights today and break a sweat. It just might do you some good!

No comments: