Aging Well


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How Strength Training Can Help You

With fall just around the corner, many of us are settling into a new routine, so now is a perfect time to consider how to include physical activity into this schedule.

Exercise and physical activity are good for everyone, including older adults. For some older adults, getting older seems to involve a loss of strength, energy and vigor.

But this does not need to be the case. The frailty and decreased energy we associate with aging, such as difficulty climbing stairs, walking long distances or doing household chores, are largely due to muscle loss.

One of the best ways for keeping muscles strong is through exercise called strength training. Research has shown that strength training is one of the best ways to combat the frailty and weakness, as well as help manage and sometimes prevent conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis. Strength training can have a major effect on a person’s mental and emotional health, including improved sleep, reduced depression, better self-confidence and self-esteem, and an enhanced sense of well-being.

One useful site to visit is Go4Life . It offers exercises, success stories and free materials to motivate the growing numbers of baby boomers and their parents to get ready, start exercising and keep going to improve their health and achieve a better quality of life.

Falling is another risk associated with muscle loss and poor balance. Stepping on, a falls prevention program offered by NDSU Extension, empowers older adults to learn balance and strength exercises, and develop specific knowledge and skills to prevent falls. Contact your county office of NDSU Extension for more information about Stepping On.

Strength training can help you stay strong, vital and independent throughout your life. Consider motivating others to join you in the many physical and emotional benefits of strength training.

Source: Jane Strommen, NDSU Extension Gerontology Specialist, 701-231-5948,


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