Strength training routines can benefit individuals of all ages. Whether it is used as physical therapy after an injury or illness or as athletic therapy to help a young athlete build the strength and stamina they need to compete, it’s benefits are wide-ranging and long-term. Professionals who specialize in sports medicine understand the need to maintain physical strength and dexterity while on the field, but strength training offers benefits to individuals of all ages, including the elderly.
Strong Muscles, Strong Bones
One of the most profound benefits of strength training is the effect it has on the bones and connective tissues. As the muscles become stronger and more pressure is placed on the bones, they slightly flex causing them to take in more calcium. This additional calcium increases bone density and also strengthens the cartilage, tendons, and ligaments that allow joints to function correctly. This is one of the reasons athletic therapy is so important during the healing process. Strengthening the muscles not only helps the bones to heal, it also strengthens them and hastens the healing process.
Strength Training Supports Heart Function
Strong muscles also help to improve circulation. Keeping the body physically strong also helps to keep the heart toned as well. Because exercise encourages the muscles to massage the blood vessels and push the blood through the body, the heart is able to work more efficiently. It can pump blood faster and more easily, increasing both stamina and endurance. Physical therapy for patients who are recovering from a heart problem may be encouraged to use mild strength training exercises to help restore the heart’s strength and tone. While the exercises must be approved by a medical professional, the benefits offered to the heart and circulatory system are well known.
Helps to Maintain Flexibility and Range of Motion
Keeping joints strong through the use of strength training exercises helps to maintain flexibility and range of motion. This is especially beneficial for the elderly who often lose their range of motion and flexibility as their level of physical strength decreases. Patients who have chronic illnesses that affect the joints and musculoskeletal structure of the body can use strength training to recover much of what is lost as their condition progresses. It’s important to start slow, but a patient can gradually rebuild their strength and improve their ability to move effectively.
Sports medicine and physical therapy are not the only areas where strength training can prove to be effective. Anyone who is interested in increasing their vitality and improving their health can benefit from these types of exercises.