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Strength Training for Older Adults

Strength training becomes even more important as we get older. As we age, our metabolisms tend to slow down, acompanied by a loss of muscle mass and bone density. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, bone loss usually speeds up for both men and women during midlife. For most women, bone loss increases after menopause when estrogen levels drop sharply. In the five to seven years after menopause, women lose up to 20 percent or more of their bone density.

Studies have shown that resistance training can prevent bone loss and may even help build new bone. In one study, postmenopausal women who participated in a strength-training program for a year saw significant increases in spine and hip bone density, two areas affected most by osteoporosis in older women. Strength and balance/stability training programs targeting the hips and core, can help prevent falls, a leading cause of injury and death in the older population.

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