Strength training is one of the best things we can do for ourselves to maintain strong bones, increase muscle strength and improve mobility, balance and coordination.
Those things in turn reduce our risk of falling and help maintain our independence. Many of us, however, don’t know where and how to start.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in conjunction with Tufts University, has a free 126-page book titled “Growing Stronger: Strength Training for Older Adults,” available at https://tinyurl.com/s8whhyam.
If you can’t download the book, call the CDC at 800-232-4636, and it can be mailed to you.
Start using the book — either reading it online or having it sent to you — by completing the test to see if you need to run the program by your doctor, especially if you’ve had any surgeries for your knee or hip.
Your second step should be to read the section on getting motivated, because yes, some of us need coaxing to start exercising.
For additional information on senior exercise from the CDC, take a look at https://tinyurl.com/524snaed.
For an additional source of help, consider investing in two sessions with an exercise coach who specializes in seniors. Things they’ll be able to teach you include how to do each exercise and how to use hand weights without straining joints.
At the second session, you’ll be able to ask any question that came up and verify that you’re still doing the movements correctly.
It’s hard to know what information to trust these days, but one source I’ve always trusted is Consumer Reports.
When not testing the items they review, they go straight to good, solid sources for information. Search consumerreports.org for “Strength Training Tips to Live Longer and Better.”
And while you’re looking around the Consumer Reports website, consider signing up for its weekly email newsletters. They’re free, and you can chose between cars, health, home, smart buying, money, food and more.