Peterson says you should feel comfortable asking a trainer whether they have experience working with aging adults before you begin any fitness routine.
"Working out at age 20 is not the same as at age 70. A fitness professional who understands those differences is important for your safety. In addition, current recommendations suggest that an older individual participate in strengthening exercise two days per week," Peterson says. "Based on the results of our studies, I would suggest that be thought of as the minimum."
Don't forget to progress
As resistance training progresses and weights and machines are introduced, Peterson recommends incorporating full body exercises and exercises that use more than one joint and muscle group at a time, such as the leg press, chest press, and rows. These are safer and more effective in building muscle mass.
"You should also keep in mind the need for increased resistance and intensity of your training to continue building muscle mass and strength," he says.
A good fitness professional can help plan an appropriate training regimen, and make adjustments based on how you respond as you progress.
"We firmly believe based on this research that progressive resistance training should be encouraged among healthy older adults to help minimize the loss of muscle mass and strength as they age," Peterson says.
|Contact: Jessica Soulliere|
University of Michigan Health System