Five Reasons Why You Should Adopt a Strength & Conditioning Regimen
As Americans, we pride ourselves in being free and independent human beings. In fact, every law passed by federal, state and local governments must abide by the Constitution, which guarantees certain rights for every citizen. This deep appreciation of personal freedom extends beyond those conceived by our founding fathers, from the clothes we wear to the music we love and so on.
So, why should anyone make the decision to adopt a strength & conditioning program? Is strength & conditioning a viable option for middle aged or elderly persons? Ultimately, the decision belongs to you, but here are five reasons that I hope will convince you, or strengthen your resolve, to adopting a strength & conditioning program.
1) Improved bone strength. Inconvenient fact time-- bones stop growing at age 30 and progressively lose strength at an average decreasing rate of 1% per year after age 40 (1). The proper terminology is “osteopenia”, which, when left unattended to, may result in osteoporosis (2). Weight bearing exercises and cardiovascular workouts have demonstrated positive results in slowing down the rate of bone strength loss, and even shown in some studies to reverse it.
2) Improved muscular strength. Continuing with inconvenient fact time-- “Sarcopenia, or the decline of skeletal muscle tissue with age, is one of the most important causes of functional decline and loss of independence in older adults” (3). Even if you are not an “older adult”, a consistent exercise regimen, such as the weight bearing exercises that slow down bone strength loss, also plays a major role in improving muscular strength.
3) Improved balance. A well-trained core is far more than a ripped, six-pack of abs on an Instagram model. A strong core is crucial in maintaining balance, which is a major factor in preventing falls. The importance of improving balance is magnified, particularly when you consider that over 2.8 million older people are rushed to the emergency room to treat injuries from falls and over $31 billion is spent for follow-up treatment, each year (4).
4) Improved memory. Of all the pills, powders and potions on the market, few can equal the positive results on memory function as a consistent strength & conditioning training protocol (5). The specific reason behind these results continues to be researched, but the correlation between improved memory and exercise is hard to deny.
5) Adaptable to age and training experience. Any person from age 5 to 105 (and beyond) can benefit from exercise. Obviously, having prepubescent children lifting weights is a bit extreme, but going out and playing is, in itself, a form of strength & conditioning training. Also, when training under the supervision of a credentialed fitness training expert, middle aged and elderly persons can have their workout programs modified to their needs and abilities.
Thanks to the media and marketing campaigns, the image of strength & conditioning has become synonymous with improving one’s appearance and nothing more. In reality, following a consistent, well-designed strength & conditioning training protocol can result in preventing injuries, saving money, as well as improving memory function. I encourage you to design your strength & conditioning program, and, if you are in need of some guidance, please send me a message or come talk to me in person at Revolution Fitness.
“Slowing Bone Loss With Weight-Bearing Exercise”. Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School.
“Osteopenia - Overview”. WebMD.com.
Walston, Jeremy D. “Sarcopenia in Older Adults.” Current opinion in rheumatology 24.6 (2012): 623–627. PMC. Web. 6 Feb. 2018.
“Important Facts About Falls”. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention.
Paul D. Loprinzi, PhD, Emily Frith, MS, Meghan K. Edwards, MS, Eveleen Sng, MS, Nicole Ashpole, PhD. “The Effects of Exercise on Memory Function Among Young to Middle-Aged Adults: Systematic Review and Recommendations for Future Research”. American Journal of Health Promotion First Published November 6, 2017.