Strength After 60: Reducing Frailty

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I came across another article on the blog, StrongMedicine.com, that has interesting content in relation to Beyond50Health.com. The article can be accessed here: “Strength After 60–Resilience Against Frailty: Part I.”¬†Author Dan Cenidoza discusses what we need to do in order to preserve a strong muscular and skeletal structure in our bodies as we age. We want to avoid conditions such as osteoporosis and sarcopenia.

Strength training provides a principal means of avoiding frailty. As we’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog, strength training is for all ages–not just the young “beach-body” types. If we want to avoid falling in our later years, we must combat frailty–and strength training is the ticket.

The article points out that physicians will often recommend weight-bearing exercises for bone health, without having a great deal of knowledge about which exercises work best and how they should be carried out. Cenidoza comments, “No one ever seems to mention that those who have the strongest muscles (such as weight lifters and powerlifters) also have the most dense bones, and never succumb to osteoporosis or sarcopenia.” Walking and gardening are good exercises, but they won’t reach the same level of benefit when it comes to bone and muscular strength. No single program is best for everyone, and it is recommended that individuals seek guidance from a professional trainer on what program would work best for that individual.

One of the commenters to the article describes a situation in which an older cowboy was having trouble carrying his saddle and getting on his horse. By following a custom program in which he did some weight lifting with the bale of hay he used to feed his horse, along with bodyweight exercises such as squats (while holding onto the coral), he was able to increase his confidence and independence in retaining the ability to ride his horse.

We’ll be on the lookout for Part II of the article, in which Cenidoza will be discussing particular exercises in more depth. It is always encouraging to read success stories about folks in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90+ who are able to reverse frailty!

Here’s a clip from YouTube showing some easy strength training exercises with dumbbells:

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