When is the right time to integrate resistance training into our children’s active lifestyles? On the flip side- why and how to continue to lifting into our 60’s+ safely.
Traditionally- resistance training was reserved for older teens. This was due to the misinformation regarding potential damage to growth plates. Today many studies confirm that it is safe and beneficial for children as young as 8 to participate in resistance training activities. These studies have shown that children aged 8-12 have the capacity to improved muscle strength with appropriate training regimes.
What is key for strength training in the pre adolescent group is that correct technique and the skills around resistance training should be the focus. This type of strength improvement can be achieved with correct body weight exercises and appropriate weights. When certain strength milestones are reached safely and correctly, the exercise or weight can be progressed for that individual.
This is how we provide our Youth Programming…Building correct body movement technique and slowly and safely adding strength and complexity to the movement.
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Similar to this is the question regarding resistance training and the older population. It’s a matter of use it or lose it.
It’s incredible important to maintain resistance exercise as we age as it assists the body in so many ways. The aging process makes muscle and bone deteriorate, flexibility disappear and metabolism slower. Regular exercise can slow these symptoms of age and help keep the body healthy for as long as possible.
Bone density and osteoporosis are big concerns for seniors. Weight bearing exercise has been shown to dramatically improve done density. A woman’s bone density peaks at age 35. Then it decreases slowly until menopause. Post-menopause sees a dramatic drop in bone density, so participating in weight bearing exercise is essential in maintaining and also increasing bone density.
By modifying exercises for older populations- for example squatting with a swiss ball against a wall, we can allow great resistance weight bearing moves to still be safely undertaken! Just ask our TRIBE Boomers- they are all kicking goals and have noticed the improvement that a little extra weight bearing moves have on their over all health!
Our Boomers TRIBE is allowing it’s participants to not only improve bone density but improve balance, mobility, and flexibility plus much more.
Moral of the story is start young and move correctly and keep moving for life!