With ageing comes experience and wisdom, but unfortunately this inevitable process also commonly comes with aches and pains. Things that were once easy, such as bending over to do up your shoe laces or twisting a lid off a jar, just aren’t a simple task anymore. Our bodies start to biologically age from our mid-twenties, very scary I know! That’s why once we get into our 30s and beyond we tend to feel stiffer, and our bodies can get sore and tired after a hard day’s work.
So what does ageing actually affect? Well there are a number of different facets. Firstly, our muscle mass naturally declines. It is not hard to work out that decreased muscle mass, equals decreased strength. We lose 2-3kg of muscle every decade after age 20! Secondly, bone density declines, which can lead to conditions such as osteoporosis. Third, nerve function slows down, which can affect proprioception. Fourth, the cardiovascular system changes. Our heart rate becomes slightly slower and our arteries/blood vessels get stiffer, which means that the heart is required to work harder to pump blood around the body. By now you might be thinking that ageing sounds pretty dismal.
The good news is that these natural ageing processes can be slowed down. How, you ask? With EXERCISE! Once range of motion in your joints is optimised with appropriate assessment and exercise, resistance (weight) training can be of extreme benefit in helping to halt natural ageing degeneration.
The benefits of resistance training are vast and include some of the following: Improved functional strength and flexibility; which is important as it can mean you are less vulnerable to falls. Increased bone mass and density, which can protect against osteoporosis. Reduced symptoms of chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis, and chronic conditions such as back pain. As well as building muscle strength and helping to decrease body fat.
Physiotherapists are experts at developing individualised exercise programs to meet your personal goals and needs. Talk to your local therapist today to build a better, wiser, healthier you!