Progressive resistance training
Exercise for older adults: By the time we are 50, the exercise requirements swing upside down, with strength exercise becoming number one, followed closely by flexibility/pliability and cardiorespiratory exercise. Why the change? We need to halt age-related muscle loss! This muscle loss may be so slow that we will not notice it when we do our activities of daily life. Weakness only manifests when we try to do something we used to do easily and then, one day, we go to do it and find it extraordinarily hard. The slow decline in our available muscle lulls us into complacency and this is why it is essential to do our strength exercise in the form of progressive resistance training (PRT).
Strength training helps send back powerful messages to the brain which enhances our ability to stand upright instead of sinking into a posture more associated with old age. It allows us to shift the weight of the body from one leg to the other safely when we move. This improved posture, combined with stable joints and toned muscles, makes falls less likely.
Strength exercises can be done in various ways, for example using bodyweight only, with bands or stretchy cables, by using equipment designed to provide a range of resistance, and with free weights. The most important aspect of strength exercise is that it must be able to be increased incrementally to stimulate a body response to make more muscle tissue. If the resistance is not increased the benefit of doing the exercise will diminish.
Age-related muscle loss can only be halted or slowed down by using weights that can be increased as you become used to them.