Senior+Stronger: Resistance Training Helps Older Americans to Prevent Injuries, Debility

Senior+Stronger: Resistance Training Helps Older Americans to Prevent Injuries, Debility

Most older people know the importance of aerobic activity. But few realize that resistance trainingi.e., strength training/weight training that uses resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance and size of skeletal muscles—is another type of exercise that’s crucial for preventing injuries and debility.
Muscle mass declines 3% annually after age 60, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. By 80, 50% of men and over a third of women have muscle weakness known as sarcopenia.
“This muscle loss is a primary factor in falling, which is the leading cause of severe and fatal injuries in seniors,” said Dr. Kevin O’Neil, Brookdale’s chief medical officer. “Half of people above 80 fall each year.”
Exercise is the best way to fight sarcopenia, but aerobic activities, while vital for cardiac health, don’t provide enough muscular boost. “You must work your muscles against gravity and weight several times a week,” Dr. O’Neil said. “The good news is you can gain strength through resistance training regardless of age.” Besides lowering fall risk, building muscle strength can improve bone density, reduce osteoarthritis pain, improve sleep and enhance brain health.
Throughout May, in recognition of the 2015 Older Americans Month and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, teams from Brookdale [www.brookdale.com] will visit seniors in their homes to introduce them to resistance training, necessary to offset age-related muscle loss that increases the risk of falling.
Press Release Follows.
Senior and Stronger: Building Muscles to Reduce Age-Related Injury
BRENTWOOD, Tenn., April 27, 2015 – Most older people know the importance of aerobic activity. But fewer realize another type of exercise is crucial for preventing injuries and debility. Throughout May, Brookdale teams will visit seniors in their homes to introduce them to resistance training, necessary to offset age-related muscle loss that increases the risk of falling.
The “Senior and Stronger” initiative takes place during Older Americans Month and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.
Muscle mass declines 3% annually after age 60, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. By 80, 50% of men and over a third of women have muscle weakness known as sarcopenia. “This muscle loss is a primary factor in falling, which is the leading cause of severe and fatal injuries in seniors,” said Dr. Kevin O’Neil, Brookdale’s chief medical officer. “Half of people above 80 fall each year.”
Exercise is the best way to fight sarcopenia, but aerobic activities, while vital for cardiac health, don’t provide enough muscular boost. “You must work your muscles against gravity and weight several times a week,” Dr. O’Neil said. “The good news is you can gain strength through resistance training regardless of age.” Besides lowering fall risk, building muscle strength can improve bone density, reduce osteoarthritis pain, improve sleep and enhance brain health.
Through “Senior and Stronger,” Brookdale teams will go to seniors’ homes to educate them on strength training, providing resistance bands and detailed information to help them get started. Seniors are also invited to participate in a resistance training webcast Brookdale will hold at 3:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. CT / 12:30 p.m. PT, Wednesday, May 27 on brookdale.com.
For more information about Brookdale, visit brookdale.com. ###
Brookdale Senior Living Inc. is the leading operator of senior living communities throughout the United States. The Company is committed to providing senior living solutions within properties that are designed, purpose-built and operated to provide the highest-quality service, care and living accommodations for residents. Currently Brookdale operates independent living, assisted living, and dementia-care communities and continuing care retirement centers, with nearly 1,150 communities in 46 states and the ability to serve approximately 111,000 residents. Through its ancillary services programs, the Company also offers a range of outpatient therapy, home health, personalized living and hospice services.
Contact: Kristin Puckett, 615-564-8481, kpuckett@brookdale.com

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