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The Benefits of Strength and Power as You Age

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Simple daily movements can add up to a lasting effect on your health, jump starting your journey into active aging. Active aging incorporates many aspects of your life including mental, physical and overall well-being. “No matter your age, ensuring you’re being active, eating a balanced diet and managing your stress all contribute to your quality of life now and in the future,” says Patrick Fisher, Professional Fitness Trainer at Cooper Fitness Center. However, Fisher emphasizes those 50 years and older are highly encouraged to focus on beginning or continuing healthy habits to help manage their health as they get older. Age should not be a factor preventing you from reaching your health goals.

Regular exercise is a cornerstone of active aging—the positive physical and mental benefits you receive are numerous. Research from The Cooper Institute demonstrates the benefits of being fit:

  • Decreased risk of dying from all causes
  • Decreased risk of chronic disease such as heart disease and cancer
  • Decreased risk of dementia and later-life depression

Another study by Harvard Medical School explains that everyday exercise reduces levels of stress hormones such as adrenaline—giving even more of a reason to continue or start your fitness journey. You’re taking care of your body and at the same time helping your mental health. 

While this is your journey, you don’t have to do it alone! Many exercise classes and group activities are available. Taking an afternoon walk, hiking and even volunteering at a nonprofit are all activities you can incorporate into your daily life to help you age well. Volunteering is an enriching way to stay engaged and continue growing connections with people in your community. Also, having friends and family around is a great motivator and can help you stay on track to reach your goals.

Benefits of strength and power exercises

As you age, strength training becomes increasingly important to help prevent muscle loss, increase lean mass and increase your overall body strength. Strength and power exercises can even help you increase your mobility and balance. “Use it or lose it!” says Fisher. “Even daily tasks as simple as bending over to pick something up, getting out of bed or walking can be affected by not intentionally moving your body.” Fisher explains strength and power exercises are key to help keep you moving and accomplish your daily goals.

How to begin a routine of active aging exercise

Strength and power exercises can be done at home, the gym or even when you’re traveling—with little to no equipment needed. Fisher shares some essential exercises to help kickstart your fitness journey:

  • Planks
  • Bridges
  • Push-ups
  • Standing wood chop
  • Standing knee bounce
  • Squat press
  • Resistance band workouts

Fisher showcases a few of the exercises above in this Exercise Move video, including recommendations of sets and equipment you may need.

For even more exercises, watch the Strength and Power Exercise Move video with Professional Fitness Trainer Aaron Ennis and browse our Exercise Move video library.

What’s the next step? Finding the right plan for you.

Beginning your exercise journey can be intimidating, especially for those who are older and are worried about becoming injured in the process. Fisher recommends contacting a professional fitness trainer who can work one-on-one with you to create a tailored plan that fits your needs. Not everyone in the gym or exercise group has the same body or health history as you, so it’s important to have a professional ensure you are working out in a safe and effective way.

For those who don’t have any past injuries or health issues, Fisher recommends starting out with 1-2 exercises per body part, making sure you are using all your body’s muscles in an even and balanced way. “If you do a certain amount of exercise on your left arm, make sure you evenly distribute it to your right side as well,” says Fisher.

If you are still unsure of your capabilities, a professional fitness trainer can customize an exercise routine incorporating strength and power exercises specific to your needs. For more information about professional fitness training at Cooper Fitness Center or to schedule a session with a trainer, visit or call 972.233.4832.