July 2020 – Having a strong immunity during the coronavirus pandemic for prevention and recovery is critical. As we continue to look for ways to stay active at this time our choices are limited and exercising at home has become a convenient and healthy choice versus nothing at all. Muscle strengthening exercise can easily be done at home and MyFitScript™ has multiple programs based on chronic disease and age. If you already have a program or routine you follow that’s great! There are many valuable benefits and outcomes we can expect from muscle strengthening exercise.
Muscle strengthening exercise, also called resistance exercise, is an essential component of any exercise program, especially in older adults. There is a consistent decrease in muscle mass of 3-8% every decade beginning at about age 30. With a steady decline in muscle mass comes a decline in muscle strength, functional ability for everyday activities, and frailty leading to possible premature death.
The goals of engaging in resistance exercise include the following:
- Increase lower and upper body strength – having greater body strength takes pressure off the cardiovascular system and therefore lifting, walking or climbing stairs may become easier with less effort.
- Increase and prevent loss of lean muscle mass – improved muscle strength is dependent on maintaining lean muscle mass. Exercise helps preserve lean muscle mass.
- Improve balance and decrease risk of falls – strong muscles help support joint stability and balance that may decrease the risk of falls.
- Improve ability to perform activities of daily living – being able to take care of your self and remain independent is critical to continue living at home. Building muscle strength and endurance can improve selfcare!
Lets look at some of the many benefits of muscle strengthening exercise:
- Improves insulin sensitivity – exercise is especially helpful for those with diabetes. Exercise improves glucose control and may decrease the amount of insulin needed.
- Helps to decrease and control weight – by preserving lean muscle mass, which burns calories.
- Weight bearing exercise helps increase bone density and strength – strong muscles strong bones!
- Helps lower blood pressure – strength training for lowering blood pressure works best when combined with aerobic exercise like walking, swimming, or cycling.
- Helps maintain mobility and function – most age-related loss of muscle function is due to decreased levels of physical activity.
Resistance exercise for muscle strengthening can be effective in assisting older adults in regaining muscle mass. In order to build muscle strength you must work against some type of resistance. There are many different ways to do this to include weight machines in a fitness facility. At home however, you can use free weights, exercise bands and tubes, your own body weight, or even what’s in the kitchen cabinets! Grab a couple cans of beans and do bicep curls! Get up and down from a chair 10 times to build leg strength! Remember to consult your physician before beginning an exercise program.
For a free resistance exercise program visit www.myfitscript.com