The importance of sleep and recovery for training.

You have probably heard about the osteoporosis problem in older people and how it can be quite debilitating. Aging is something everybody goes through, at all ages! Everyone ages, in fact, you are aging while you are reading this! Being healthy later in life should not be viewed as something extraordinary, but rather as the norm. Therefore, it is important to stay healthy throughout your life. When you age, you are at risk of osteoporosis. Your bone density goes down and your bones become porous. You become at risk for fractures, which is why femur fractures are so frequent in older people. 

The good news is that you can do something about it! Indeed, you are already doing so when exercising, because resistance training helps fight osteoporosis. How does it do that? When you exercise and lift weight, your muscles have to work and contract to perform the movements. The muscles are attached to the bones via tendons and by contracting, they indirectly pull on your bones. In response to this, your bones adjust and get stronger to withstand the pulling action of the muscles. Your bone mineral density increases and your risk of osteoporosis decreases as a result. 

Resistance training is then key for the older population, not just to stay fit, but also to stay healthy and keep the bones stronger. It is important to load the lower body, the upper body, but also the spine to keep it strong and healthy. An example of a workout loading the whole body would be doing goblet squats to work the lower body and load the spine, some sort of loaded chest or overhead press to work the upper body, and some single leg exercises to work on the balance as well. 

Aging should not mean compromising on the lifestyle you have and having to modify your daily activities. The body is extremely adaptable and will adjust to the stress and the exercise that you put it through! This is why staying active and exercising at all ages is extremely important and will keep you strong and healthy! Exercising is probably the cheapest and most efficient way to fight aging, so let’s keep moving!