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Resistance training isn’t just for the young!

Resistance Training Next Wave Therapy O’Connor (Fremantle area) WA

You may have seen recently on our social media pages a photo of a long-term dedicated patient of ours who reaches 80 years of age next month, deadlifting 50kgs in our gym.

You may have also seen that Lauren, our Women’s Health Physio, embarked on her strength and conditioning certification this month too.

You may be surprised (and pleased) to hear that Lauren LOVES getting her older adults lifting weights. In particular, Lauren is on a mission to get post-menopausal women to engage in resistance training.

Why, you might ask?

Well, you may already be aware that as we age, our bone health changes, which can lead to osteoporosis, a condition characterised by bone fragility. Osteoporosis is actually known as the silent disease, because usually people won’t have symptoms until they experience a fracture. Women are actually more at risk of bone fracture, specifically in the postmenopausal population, as lack of oestrogen is the most common cause of bone loss.

So, what can we do about preventing bone loss as we age?

Resistance training! Yes, that’s right. Lifting weights is one sure fire way of improving or preventing bone loss. Other benefits of resistance training include improving muscle strength, improving posture, decreasing falls and improving future fracture risk.

Exercises such as Pilates, Tai Chi and walking, whilst they are great for other health benefits, research has shown that they do not provide bones with enough loading to improve bone health. Several key organisations like Osteoporosis Australia and Healthy Bones Australia are advocating for the inclusion of resistance programs in the older adult population as a national priority in the management of Osteoporosis. 

However, resistance training is a relatively new societal norm. We recognise the fact that going to the gym to pump iron is not for everyone. This is where coming in for supervised exercise sessions under the guidance of a suitability qualified health profession aka the team at Next Wave Therapy helps to improve adherence to resistance programs, ensure safety, and reduce the risk of adverse events. In fact, recent systematic reviews on the inclusion of moderate to high intensity resistance training programs in the osteoporotic population has shown to be perfectly safe when participants are adequately supervised and screened appropriately (Cadore et al, 2013). 

So, if you are worried about your bone health and fracture risk but don’t know what to do about it, book in with one of our Physiotherapists for an individualised program.

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