It might go against common sense for a senior citizen to start – or resume – pumping iron at his or her advanced age. But Irish researchers are recommending that elderly people lift weights and take protein powders so that they can avoid the crippling effects of infirmity.
People are living longer lives thanks to a variety of reasons, such as steadier food supplies and modern medical treatment. However, many senior citizens are also suffering from physical infirmities that come with advancing age.
In the United Kingdom alone, frailness strikes one out of every 10 elderly people. Among the members of the British population who are over 80 years old, more than half have grown weak of limb and flesh, which hampers their daily life.
Researchers from the University College Dublin are looking into ways to stem or reverse the increasing numbers of frail old people. They are suggesting that elderly people should take up both muscle strength training and protein powder supplementation in order to maintain their physical well-being. (Related: Resistance training for just one hour a week dramatically reduces your risk of a heart attack.)
For their report, the Irish researchers include more than 40 different studies on treating frailty in elderly people with a total of 15,690 participants.
Proposed therapeutic approaches involve different kinds of physical exercise programs, health education, nutrition and hormone supplements, home visits, and counseling sessions. The outcomes of these studies are tallied and compared for their success at preventing the emergence of infirmity in participants.
Based on their evaluation, the researchers identified weightlifting as the most effective method to maintain the strength and health of a senior citizen. They urge health care providers to recommend this exercise-based approach to their patients.
Muscle training exercise is often associated with bodybuilders and younger people. Yet weightlifting is also considered to be the easiest therapeutic approach for older people to take up and sustain over long periods of time.
The researchers recommend lifting weights four times a week. There is no need to go to the gym; the workout can be done in the comforts of the home. Each session is made up of 15 exercises and the muscle training is targeted at the arms and legs.
Not only will these exercises strengthen those limbs, but they will also enhance the balance of the practitioner. Furthermore, the workouts will improve the motor coordination between those limbs.
To get the most benefit out of weightlifting, the UCD researchers recommend elderly people eat foods that are loaded with protein. Their findings indicate the importance of diet when it comes to staying strong past the seventh decade of life.
Chicken, eggs, milk, and tuna are foods that contain plenty of protein. The body will use the protein to built up the exercising muscles. These edibles must come from certified organic sources that earned the trust of their consumers.
Another way to ensure the practitioner gets the protein he or she needs is to take a health supplement. A protein powder drink is recommended due to convenience and faster absorption. Again, get this supplement from a reliable source.
If taken together, weightlifting and a protein-rich diet can greatly slow down the onset of infirmity. They can even lift the effects of frailty from an aging body, allowing elderly people to enjoy their golden years in comfort and good health. Indeed, don’t wait for the onset of old age to enjoy the health benefits of working out and eating right.