While I can personally attest to the benefits of strength training in my life, below is additional information from the Fitness Professional's Guide to Strength Training Older Adults by Thomas R Baechle, and Dr. Wayne L Westcott. After reading this, you will not have any doubts about the value of incorporating a regular strength training program has in your life.
Research indicates that older adults may experience many health-related benefits from a sensible program of strength exercise that is performed at a relatively high effort level. Some of the possible benefits include the following:
- Better body composition with up to 4 pounds more lean weight, and 4 pounds less fat weight after 2 months of regular strength training.
- Increased metabolic rate of up to 7 percent higher resting metabolism and up to 15 percent greater daily calorie requirements after 3 months of regular strength training.
- Decrease low-back discomfort, as evidenced by approximately 80 percent of patients reporting less or no pain after 3 months of specific low-back strengthening exercise.
- Reduced arthritic pain, as indicated by subjective ratings of symptoms in strength trained adults who have arthritis.
- Increased bone mineral density that minimize age related bone loss and offer protection against osteoporosis.
- Enhanced glucose utilization that may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Faster gastrointestinal transit that may reduce the risk of colon cancer and other motility disorders of the gastrointestinal system.
- Reduced resting blood pressure, including lower diastolic readings and lower systolic readings.
- Improved blood lipid profiles, including lower levels of LDL cholesterol and higher levels of HDL cholesterol.
- Improved postcoronary performance resulting from higher muscular functional capacity and lower cardiovascular stress from routine and unplanned physical activity.
- Enhanced self-confidence, as reported by previously sedentary men and women following 2 months of regular strength training.
- Relieved depression in older adults clinically diagnosed with mild to moderate depression.