Brookdale Communities Introduce Area Seniors to Resistance Training
Most older people know the importance of aerobic activity. But fewer realize another type of exercise is crucial for preventing injuries and debility. Throughout May, teams from Brookdale New Bern will visit local seniors in their homes to introduce them to resistance training, necessary to offset muscle loss that comes with aging and increases risk of falling. The initiative, called “Senior and Stronger,” takes place during Older Americans Month and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. “Senior and Stronger” is a nationwide program being spearheaded nationally by Brookdale, which operates Brookdale New Bern.
Muscle mass declines 3% a year after age 60, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. By 80, 50% of men and more than a third of women have sarcopenia. “This muscle loss is a primary factor in falling, which is the leading cause of severe and fatal injuries in seniors,” said Dr. Kevin O’Neil, Brookdale’s chief medical officer. “Half of people over 80 fall each year.”
The most effective way to fight sarcopenia is through exercise. However, aerobic activities such as walking, while vital for good health, won’t provide a muscular boost. “You must work your muscles against resistance several times a week,” Dr. O’Neil said. “The good news is that you can gain strength through a resistance training program regardless of age.” Besides lowering fall risk, building muscle strength can improve bone density, reduce osteoarthritis pain, improve sleep and enhance brain health.
“Through ‘Senior and Stronger,’ we will visit seniors in our area to make sure they know the vital role of strength training for preventing falls and improving overall health,” explains Kristen Floreno, Executive Director of Brookdale New Bern. “We will be providing them with resistance bands and detailed information on how they get can started on building stronger muscles.”
Seniors are also invited to participate in a free resistance training instructional webcast Brookdale will hold at 3:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. CT / 12:30 p.m. PT, Wednesday, May 27. To register, go to brookdale.com.
Submitted by: Kristen Floreno, Executive Director, Brookdale New Bern