My father had a couple of nasty falls; twice he banged his head pretty badly. We did not know it at the time, but the consequences of falling were more serious than we thought. My father became forgetful. It kind of flew under the radar for a while until it could no longer be ignored or denied. He underwent a series of tests. An MRI revealed that his brain was damaged, and it was getting worse. The doctors speculated that it was most likely a result of a fall. He has Alzheimer’s disease, and it is progressing at an accelerated rate. His situation is not uncommon. The right exercise can help avoid falling.
Each year, more than one-third of Americans over 65 sustain falls, total cost of fall injuries for people 65 and older was $20.2 billion in 1994, and that is expected to reach $32.4 billion by 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In one year 735,000 seniors required doctors' care as a result of falling.
Falling is the 14th leading cause of death among the elderly.
As people age they lose strength and with that a loss of balance. With the loss of strength they lose the ability to recover from a stumble. Falls inevitably occur, and those that do fall who are weak are more likely to suffer injuries as result of that fall.
As people age they lose as much as half of their fast-twitch muscle fibers. These fibers control quick movements and responsible for most of our strength. That decline can be reversed with high intensity weight training. There is plenty of documentation out there making the case for strength training for the elderly. One study conducted with 90 year olds:
High-intensity strength training in nonagenarians. Effects on skeletal muscle. Fiatarone MA, Marks EC, Ryan ND, Meredith CN, Lipsitz LA, Evans WJ. Strength gains averaged 174% %2B/- 31% (mean %2B/- SEM) in the 9 subjects who completed training. Midthigh muscle area increased 9.0% %2B/- 4.5%. Mean tandem gait speed improved 48% after training. We conclude that high-resistance weight training leads to significant gains in muscle strength, size, and functional mobility among frail residents of nursing homes up to 96 years of age
Of all the people who stand to gain by strength training the elderly stand to benefit most. It is important not only for the increased quality of life strength can bring but to avoid the consequences of weakness - falls, injuries, sickness, and death. These strength increases don't require hours in the gym.
The personal trainers at Austin’s Kelly Personal Training and New Orleans’s Ultimate Fitness Training guide clients of all ages through high intensity personal training sessions. Anyone can handle these personal training sessions. All you have to do is to perform a little more exercise that you are used to handling. Do just enough to cause a change, then come back and do it again in a week. With such a program you'll more likely to stick to it. You can look forward to the next year knowing you will be stronger instead of weaker. All it takes a half hour a week. Is it worth it? The personal trainers at Austin’s Kelly Personal Training and New Orleans’ Ultimate Fitness Training are convinced it is. You can learn more about this high intensity personal training method at Austin Fitness Training and New Orleans Fitness Training.