Photo by Geert Pieters on Unsplash
Kent Probst, BS, MEd
Kent Probst is the owner of Long Healthy Life Blog
Resistance Band Exercise for Seniors: Why it’s Important
There are many reasons resistance band exercise for seniors is important, aside from becoming stronger.
Most people lose 3% to 5% of their muscle mass per decade after age 30.
During the aging process, your muscles atrophy, or shrink. Age-related loss of muscle mass is known as sarcopenia.
A sedentary lifestyle also accelerates sarcopenia.
Strength declines 10% to 15% per decade until age 70. After age 70, loss of strength accelerates to 25% to 40% per decade.
Muscle protein synthesis and repair capacity decline with age. Muscular endurance diminishes by 10% per decade.
There’s also a loss of type II (fast twitch) muscle fibers. The fast twitch muscle fibers are responsible for short burst activity.
It also becomes more difficult for the heart muscle to pump blood to the body throughout the course of aging.
All of this may sound daunting, but it’s not. Resistance band exercise for seniors can help.
Resistance Band Exercise for Seniors: The Benefits
What makes resistance band exercise favorable?
Resistance bands are easily portable wherever you’re going. You can throw them into your suitcase when traveling.
By shortening the bands, you can increase the resistance. Lengthen the band and you decrease the resistance.
Additionally, resistance bands are versatile, making it possible to do a full body workout.
And of course, resistance bands build muscle and strength.
Increased muscle mass is associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality in people over age 55.
In addition to increased muscle mass, other benefits of resistance band exercise for seniors include:
- Increased walking speed
- Improved cognitive function
- Better balance
- Improved stair climbing ability
- Improved mood
- Increased bone density
- Improved weight management
- Increased grip strength
Seated Resistance Band Workout
Standing Resistance Band Workout
Guidelines for Resistance Band Exercise
For beginners, 8-10 multi-joint exercises, or compound exercises, that target the major muscle groups is a great starting point, 2-3 times per week.
10-15 repetitions is a good range for people over 50.
Beginners can start with 2-3 sets per exercise. More advanced people can do 4 to 6 sets per exercise.
Allow 48-96 hours rest between workouts.
You now have the tools you need to create a successful resistance band workout.
Take the next step!
If you’re already doing resistance band exercise, we’d like to know how you’re doing.
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.