According to a recent article in Harvard Health, people tend to lose bone mass at a rate of 1% per year after age 40. This can result in osteoporosis, with even simple activities such as bending over to tie a shoelace becoming a potential risk for a fracture.
Unfortunately, at least in my networks, aerobic exercise, let alone strength training, is often talked about as more of a lifestyle option rather than necessary for health. But both are important for delaying bone loss and improving bone health.
Additionally, they also recommend muscle strengthening exercises using weights or bands two or more times a week.
However, a study done by National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion researchers in 2008 found that only a third of older adults (defined as greater or equal to 65) actually meet these guidelines and less than a sixth (14.1%) met muscle-strengthening guidelines.
While habits are harder to form the older one gets, it’s never too late (or early to start). The National Institute on Aging at NIH designed a physical activity campaign called Go4Life. It’s divided into three phases:
Exercises are divided into four types (Endurance, Strength, Balance, and Flexibility) and participants are encouraged to integrate all four into their routine. The website provides instructions on how to complete these activities, downloadable templates for tracking progress, and both educational and motivational materials you can order for free.
Always consult a doctor before starting a new exercise program. Learn more and get started at https://go4life.nia.nih.gov/