Most people have never lifted weights. You might be one of them. But here’s some advice: you should start.
Muscle tissue, bone density, strength, and power all decline with age. You might not have felt the effects much in your 40s and 50s, but there is a good chance you’ll start noticing it soon if you haven’t already.
Lifting weights and performing resistance exercises can help slow or reverse this decline.
Stronger muscles can help the body in several ways. Aside from improving balance, functionality, and helping maintain independence, they can improve blood pressure and cardiac efficiency as well as insulin sensitivity.
On the other hand, weak muscles can contribute to a rapid loss of independence that can impact everyday activities like walking, cleaning, shopping, or getting dressed. They can also make it harder to balance while standing or moving, boosting the risk for falls.
You don’t need a lot of equipment to start a strength-training routine at home. With some good sneakers and a chair with armrests, you can potentially build strength and muscle to slow down the aging process. Here are few moves to try.
Sit slightly forward in a chair with your hands on the armrest and feet flat on the floor with about six inches between them. Your upper body should be upright (don’t lean forward).
Using arms for balance only, push through your feet to slowly raise your butt off the seat until you are standing with your knees slightly bent. Pause for a moment, then slowly return the starting position. Perform 8-12 repetitions.
Put your chair with its backrest against the wall. Sit down with your feet close together and flat on the floor. Lean forward slightly at the hips while keeping shoulders and back straight and aligned.
Bend elbows and place your hands on the armrests so they align with your torso. Push down with your hands and lift yourself off the chair by straightening your arms. Raise your entire body and legs, but keep your feet firmly planted on the floor.
Hold for a moment before slowly returning to the starting position.
Stand behind your chair and hold the top of the backrest for balance. With feet close together, push down into the floor with the front balls of your feet, lifting heels off the ground. Hold for a moment before slowly returning to the starting position.