Strength training for seniors is safe and effective for men and women of all ages, including those who are not in perfect health and those who are aging. In fact, people with health concerns and older adults often benefit the most from an exercise program that includes lifting weights a few times a week. For older adults, a decline in muscle strength potentially has more severe consequences in daily living than a decline in cardiovascular fitness.
The aging process is traditionally viewed as a progressive decline in health, but studies show that this decline is often linked to inactivity. Strength training are activities that help you build strength, maintain bone density, improve balance, maintain proper posture, improve coordination and mobility, reduce your risk of falling, and help you maintain independence in performing activities of daily life. Strength training requires little time and minimal equipment.
What are the benefits of strength training for seniors?
Strength Training, Balance, and Falls
Falls are the most common of all accidental events in the elderly population, and lower limb muscular weakness is often the cause. Performing a regular strength training program will almost always result in improved balance, coordination, and a reduced risk of falling. It is important to understand, however, that some balance problems, particularly those caused by irregularities in the vestibular system, may be irreversible. But exercises that challenge balance on one or both legs, coordination, flexibility, antigravity strength, trunk strength, and ankle strength can significantly improve balance of older adults. An active muscular system depends mostly on muscle strength, which serves as the body’s most effective energy absorber. Therefore, muscle strength, gained through strength training exercises, can potentially reduce the severity of the impact if a fall does occur.
Frequency, Intensity, and Duration of Strength Training for Seniors
The frequency, intensity, and duration of a strength training program is going to vary from person to person, depending on their initial strength, physical fitness level, and other pre-existing health conditions. It is important to find the right balance between exercising conservatively to prevent injury and exercising consistently to increase strength.
Exercises to Improve Your Strength
These activities will help you build strength, maintain bone density, improve balance, coordination, and mobility, reduce your risk of falling, and help you maintain independence in performing activities of daily life. As you’ll see, strength training requires little time and minimal equipment.
Always perform a warmup prior to strength training (and stretching is NOT a warmup). To get your muscles warm and loose, walk for 5 to 10 minutes. Walking will help direct needed blood flow to your muscles, prepare your body for exercise, prevent injury, and gain maximal benefit from the exercise. Warm muscles respond better to the challenge of lifting weights.
Squats—Lower Limb Strength
In front of a sturdy chair, stand with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Cross your arms over your chest and lean forward slightly at the hips. Making sure that your knees never come forward past your toes, lower yourself in a slow, controlled motion, until you reach a near-sitting position. Pause, then slowly rise back up to a standing position, keeping your knees over your ankles and your back straight. Never let your knees touch throughout the entire motion. Repeat ten times for one set. Rest for one to two minutes, then complete a second set of ten.
Wall Pushups—Upper Limb Strength (arms, shoulders, chest)
This exercise is less challenging than a normal pushup and will not require you to get down on the floor. Find a wall that is clear of any objects. Stand a little farther than arm’s length from the wall. Facing the wall, lean your body forward and place your palms flat against the wall at about shoulder height and shoulder-width apart. Bend your elbows as you lower your upper body toward the wall in a slow, controlled motion, keeping your feet planted. Pause, then slowly push yourself back until your arms are straight, but do not lock your elbows. Repeat ten times for one set. Rest for one to two minutes, then repeat for a second set of ten.
Heel Raises or Toe Stands—Lower Limb Strength
This is a good way to strengthen your calves and ankles and restore stability and balance. Near a counter or sturdy chair, stand with feet shoulder-width apart. If needed, use the chair or counter for balance. Slowly push up as far as you can, onto the balls of your feet and hold for two to four seconds. Slowly lower your heels back to the floor, in a controlled motion. Repeat ten times for one set. Rest for one to two minutes, then repeat for a second set of ten.
Biceps Curl—Upper Limb Strength
This exercise will make lifting daily objects, such as a gallon of milk, seem much easier! With a dumbbell (or if you do not have a dumbbell, a soup can will work too!) in each hand, stand, or sit in a chair, with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at side, and palms facing facing in front of you. Slowly lift up the weights by flexing your elbow. Keep your upper arms and elbows close to your side, as if you had a newspaper tucked beneath your arm. Keep your wrists straight. Slowly lower the dumbbells back toward your thighs, keeping palms facing forward. Repeat ten times for one set. Rest for one to two minutes, then repeat for a second set of ten.
Refer to the Stretching section on the main page of Health Tips for proper stretches to perform for cool down. A proper cool down will prevent future muscle soreness and help prevent injury.
Regular physical activity is fun and healthy. Being active is safe for most people, however, before starting a strength training program you should check with your doctor to make sure your strength training plan is safe for your health.
Perhaps you’ve noticed more men sporting mustaches and facial hair this month. Or maybe you’ve heard of No-Shave November and Movember and wondered what all the fuss was about. Movember and No-Shave November are two movements dedicated to raising awareness for some of the most common health challenges faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental illness. The concept behind these movements is to go shave-free for the entire month of November (women can participate, too!). Then, at the end of the month, you donate the money you would have spent on shaving towards organizations that educate about cancer and suicide prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting these battles.
Throughout the world, women live longer than men, although this gap varies tremendously in less developed countries. According to the CIA World Factbook, in the United States, average longevity for women is 82.2 years for women and 77.2 years for men, a five-year gap. Many men have the mentality of “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”, so if they cannot see or feel an external stimulus, they will think there is nothing ever wrong. A majority of men are just not aware of what they can do to improve their health and live healthier and happier lives.
Being informed about the symptoms, risk factors, and available tests can empower men to lead a healthier life. So, in the spirit of raising awareness for men’s health during the month of November, we’ve compiled a list of what you need to know about some of the most prevalent health concerns in men.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MEN'S HEALTH BEGINNING AT AGE 20 AND BEYOND
When it comes to their health, too many men don’t talk and don’t take action. If you are worried about a friend or loved one and their risk factors, talk with them about early detection. Help them by reminding them to schedule an annual physical, if they don’t already have it on the calendar...it could save their life.
Fall may technically begin in September, but it really hits in October—a month of crisp, cool(ish) weather, punctuated by crunchy fallen leaves and an onslaught of pumpkins. Accordingly, you’re going to want warming, stick-to-your-ribs recipes at your finger tips. So, Take a scroll and get ready for a delicious month. These recipes are perfect for game day and holiday parties, so make a double batch and share with everyone you love. Be sure to leave a comment and let us know which ones you try!
Sweet Potato Stew
A delicious, hearty, and healthy sweet potato stew made in the crockpot (slow cooker). This stew is packed with sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, corn, tomatoes, beef, and plenty of seasoning!
Pair this sweet potato stew alongside a simple salad such as winter fruit salad or homemade dinner rolls for a complete, satisfying meal.
Healthy Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats
These are full of cheesy Italian sausage or ground turkey, bell peppers, mushrooms, and the best crispy panko topping, and are ready in just 30 minutes!
Recipe from: https://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/healthy-italian-stuffed-zucchini-boats/
Glazed Apple Tart
If you're the type who prefers desserts that go heavy on the fruit, this apple tart's for you. Halved apples (that's right, no slicing or dicing) are roasted with brandy and maple syrup, then arranged on a pastry basewith almond streusel to add crunch and absorb any rogue juices. What you get is kind of like apple pie—if it were 70 percent fruit with the flakiest crust imaginable. Firm tart apples hold their shape even when cooked twice. You can make the dough and roast the apples up to 2 days ahead.
Recipe from: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/glazed-and-flaky-apple-tart
Spicy Maple Roasted Butternut Squash & Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Bacon
Sweet and spicy maple roasted butternut squash with brussels sprouts and savory, crispy bacon. This filling, veggie-packed dish is perfect for a side dish or a main meal!Ingredients
Almond Butter Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Cups
Easy apple cinnamon baked oatmeal cups made with applesauce, fresh apples, oats, maple syrup and almond butter for a boost of protein + flavor. Freezer-friendly, great for kids or meal prep!Ingredients
We hope you enjoy trying some new and tasty recipes perfect for this time of year! As always, we would love to know what you think!
Nights are getting longer, leaves are beginning to fall, and you can probably already smell pumpkin spice in the air. When seasons change, they give us the opportunity to take inventory on our lives.
Maybe it's time to clean out the storage space, or to go through the closets. This is also the perfect time to check in with your personal health! Since this time of year is usually comprised of less activity, more food, and potentially more stress (the approaching holidays), preparing yourself is an excellent way to be ahead of the game.
So how do you stay happy and healthy this fall season? We've got 7 tips to get you started:
As most of you know, October is great cancer awareness month. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, second to skin cancer, with one in eight women in the United States (roughly 12%) developing breast cancer in her lifetime. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer.
Encouragingly, the death rate from breast cancer has declined a bit in recent years, perhaps due to greater awareness and screening for this type of cancer, as well as better treatments. How can you lower your risk for breast cancer? Knowledge is the first step in learning about prevention and lowering your risk.
We have compiled a list below of 10 important facts about breast cancer to help educate and build awareness.
While no one can tell you how to prevent breast cancer with any sort of guarantee, there’s evidence to suggest that certain healthy lifestyle changes can lower your breast cancer risk. Additionally, breast cancer awareness leads to earlier detection and better outcomes. If you’d like additional information about breast cancer and prevention, we suggest visiting the following reputable sites to learn more about all aspects of the disease:
The American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2015-2016
The American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts & Figures 2016
National Cancer Institute SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Breast Cancer
World Cancer Research Fund International
World Health Organization
If you’re a fan of fall, you’re certainly not alone. Something about the cooler temperatures and the changing season just puts many of us in a reflective mood. This, in turn, makes autumn a perfect time to hear what God is saying amidst the sound of fires crackling and the scent of pumpkin floating through the air.
As we begin to experience the majesty that fall beholds, may we be intentional in listening for His voice, reflecting on His goodness and the depth of His love for us. Below are a few scriptures that can help us get started:
1. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” —Psalm 19:1
The sky on a clear fall day can be the most incredible shade of blue—especially against the background of changing leaves. One glance gives us a clue that we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves. Take some time to enjoy the wonder of His work.
2. “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” —Ecclesiastes 3:1
Whether it’s leaves changing in your backyard or you changing your clock for Daylight Saving Time, autumn reminds us that nothing stays the same forever. Change is one of the few constants in life, but that’s okay--God has perfect timing, and He has a purpose that stretches into eternity.
3. “How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you.” —Psalm 31:19
God doesn’t just give us a few blessings. He pours out an abundance of good things on our lives. Fall offers the perfect time to reflect on His goodness toward us. His blessings really are new each day (Lamentations 3:22-23).
4. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” —Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
Fall is a season of harvest, so it’s good to remember that we always reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7). Sometimes, we get discouraged and wonder if the seeds we plant will ever sprout. Fall assures us that harvest day is coming, so we have to stick with the work.
5. “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.” —James 5:7
Patience may be a virtue, but it’s never easy. This agricultural illustration with a fall flavor reminds us that we have to develop patience. God will work out His plan in His timing. We can trust His work, even when He’s not working on our timetable.
6. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” —Isaiah 40:8 (NAS)
Dried leaves crunch beneath your feet, and the grass is a sad shade of brown. The air turns crisp—maybe even cold. It’s the annual transition from the life of spring and summer to the hibernation of fall and winter. But while seasons shift, we serve a God who never fails. He stands forever—and new pages on the calendar can’t change that.
We pray that you experience Him this fall like never before!
October is finally here, bringing with it the first signs of Fall, pumpkin flavored treats, and most importantly: National Physical Therapy Month. Since its inauguration by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) in 1981, National PT Month has been a great opportunity to celebrate all PT professionals as well as recognize the transformative power of physical therapy. PTs and PTAs help restore and improve motion in many people’s lives. This year, APTA hopes to raise awareness about the risk of opioids and all the ways physical therapy can help with pain management.
The theme for this year’s PT Month is #ChoosePT. This campaign hopes to let people know about the dangers of opioid use and promote PT as a safe alternative. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging health care providers to reduce the use of opioids in in favor of safer options, like physical therapy. Some of the potential side effects to opioid use are depression, overdose, and addiction. There are also possible withdrawal symptoms when stopping use. Because of these risks the CDC guidelines state, experts agreed that opioids should not be considered first-line or routine therapy for chronic pain
How is The Smith Clinic is Celebrating Physical Therapy Month?
The Smith Clinic is celebrating PT Month by building awareness and fun giveaways, so be sure check out our social media so you can participate!
As summer fades in the rear view mirror and fall makes its way around the bend, we begin to sense the excitement of all that autumn brings: beautiful changing leaves, football season, hay rides, bonfires, and all things pumpkin! Even the fresh, crisp air is rejuvenating, refreshing our souls after the exhausting heat of summer.
Similarly, the autumn of life is a strange mixture of nostalgia, blessings, and potential. It yields the harvest of seeds we’ve sown throughout life and braces us for colder days to come. When life’s autumn arrives, we look back and better understand the way God led us. It’s the perfect transition time.
Did you know “Autumn” only occurs once in the Bible? In Jude 1:12, false teachers are compared to “autumn trees without fruit,” implying that autumn should be a fruitful season, the most abundant of the year. This bears the question: how can we take advantage of the “autumn of life”?
First, we can acknowlege the unchanging nature of God. The seasons come and go, and there's a lot of unwelcome change in our world: moral and societal change, as weak as personal change - children leaving home, the passing of dear friends, and the slow, steady decline in our vitality and health. But amid all the changes, one thing never changes—our eternal God. “LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalm 90:1-2). The world may fade, the stars may fall, the seasons may change, and winter may come. But the God who has been our help in ages past is our hope for years to come. In Him, we have permanence, stability, joy unshakable, and life unending.
Secondly, we can rest in the divine foresight of God. We’ve all suffered setbacks along the way. BUT we still have hope. God promises us, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten. . . . You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God” (Joel 2:25-26). Our omniscient Savior knows the end from the beginning, and He will bless whatever is yielded to Him. Focus on His foreknowledge, providence, and sovereignty.
Lastly, we can focus on the wonderful blessings of God: family, friends, strength, shelter, provision, opportunities to serve, more time to pray and study His Word, and eternal life still to come. It's during life’s autumn that we have a richer perspective and can count more blessings than ever before. During autumn, we all know that winter lies ahead, but we also know that, when winter comes, spring isn't far behind!
After a sedentary work week, sliding into home plate or a round of 18-holes can take its toll, possibly even causing a variety of common sports injuries. The seven most common sports injuries are:
Sometimes sport related injuries are beyond our control, but they are often preventable. Prevention can be as simple as beginning your workout or sport with a gentle warm-up.
Warming up increases blood flow to the muscles and makes you more flexible. In addition, training prior to an activity you don't do on a normal basis can be vital to preventing an injury. Whether it's hiking, running, skiing or another sport, be sure to work the relevant muscle groups in the weeks leading up to the activity. Also, learn to recognize your body's limitations. Muscle fatigue takes away all your protective mechanisms and really increases your risk of all injuries. You can always come back out to play next weekend. Treating the most common sports injuries using PRICE method:
In the unfortunate event that you do experience a sports related injury, the good news is that they are typically mild or moderate, allowing you to treat them at home. You can limit swelling and promote quicker healing by using the following PRICE method:
The Smith Clinic has spent years working with different sports injuries, helping train individuals on how to prevent injuries going forward. Our licensed physical therapists can customize an exercise and sports injury prevention program, recognizing the weaknesses of your particular musculoskeletal system, allowing you to recover quickly.
If you have a new or old sports injury, our therapists can tailor a treatment program to promote wellness and minimize the chance of re-injury. Call us today to learn more!
Just as the seasons of this world change, so do the seasons of our lives. If we’re not careful, we’ll forget the moments that take our breath away, made us smile or brought tears to our eyes. We’ll forget that feeling we had on the first day of spring. Or the time we finally did something we always thought was just a dream. We’ll forget how God used one of the most difficult situations to bring us closer to Him. If we’re not careful, we won’t see the blessings that God has given us, too concerned with what we do not have.
In contrast, why not reminisce and wallow in God’s mercies and blessings? Why not take a moment to look around with fresh eyes? Watch the sunset tonight. Look up at the stars. Listen for a the owl hooting in the night. Snuggle your kids just a moment longer. Kiss your spouse as if it were the first time. Enjoy this season you are in. Relish in the right here and right now.
Praying for you always!