Inactive adults can expect up to a 5% loss of muscle mass each decade after age 30. This loss of muscle tissue, sarcopenia, occurs in part due to lack of exercise and is a major cause of disability and lost independence among aging adults. To combat this weakness experts recommend each American adult should participate in weekly Resistance Training sessions. According to our National Physical Activity Guidelines, the recommended amount of strength training involves exercising major muscle groups at least 2 times a week. Previous research has shown this frequency of strength training exercise can increase strength, muscle mass, and bone density among older adults.
A recent review of the available evidence was conducted by researchers investigating the relationship between strength training and quality of life in older adults (Hart et al. Health Promotion Perspective. 2019). Authors reviewed 16 research articles and found resistance training had a significant effect on both mental and physical health variables. They reported significant improvements in both health related quality of life and bodily pain among the trained participants compared to their sedentary peers. Specifically, resistance training was found to positively effect emotional and social functions within overall quality of life scores.
This article adds to the existing literature on the mental and emotional benefits of exercise. Contact the experts at MEND to learn which exercises are most appropriate for you.