Senior Fitness – Benefits of Resistance Bands
Why Resistance Bands
If you have been reading my articles for a while, then you know I am a big believer in having an active lifestyle, no couch potato for me. Being active takes on new meaning during a global pandemic. Over the last two years, I have written articles on senior fitness and life sports seniors can participate in including walking, water exercises, and bowling.
Because of the pandemic, many seniors cannot go outside. The challenge is to find an exercise routine that can be done in the safety of one’s home. An inexpensive solution is working out with resistance bands. Writing for Prosource Fit1, a leading manufacturer and seller of fitness equipment, Holly Pinkham, a personal trainer, shares, “for adults around or over the age of 60, standard weights at the gym can be challenging and harsh on your body. Resistance bands help to maintain strength and muscle mass without overdoing it. Research indicates that training programs using elastic tubes are a practical, effective means of increasing strength in adults over the age of 65. Johns Hopkins Medicine recommends resistance bands as one of the safest methods to increase bone strength and help prevent osteoporosis.” Safety is just one of the many benefits seniors can enjoy when using resistance bands.
Benefits of Resistance Bands
Most people associate resistance bands with physical therapy, rehabbing from injury. That’s how I became introduced to them, after my ankle surgery. The bands helped me regain strength and flexibility and I could use them anywhere. My research dug up over a hundred million articles on the benefits of resistance bands, so I know they do exist. 8fit, an online health and wellness site, lists 8 benefits that seniors and others can experience when they use resistance bands2.
- Affordable – Many bands are less than $10.00, which is great if you are on a tight budget.
- Portable – Resistance bands are not bulky. They fit easily into a suitcase and be taken anywhere.
- Strengthen and Tone – “As resistance bands stretch, they create increased tension in your muscles and cause them to contract. The more you stretch the band, the more intense the resistance gets, and the harder the exercise becomes.”
- Adds Assistance and Resistance – The bands not only add resistance, but they support your weight and help with completing the exercise.
- Great for Stretching – “With the help of rubber bands, you’ll be able to gently elongate your limbs and release any muscular tension.”
- Most Anyone can use them – “Unlike weights, resistance bands don’t rely on gravity to provide the resistance. This means that the body can move and expand the range of motion in certain exercises … Moreover, people of any age and fitness level can get an effective workout using resistance bands, as many exercises and stretches can be done from a seated position.”
- Great for Rehab – “Resistance bands have been the staple for those in rehabilitation from a sports or muscle-related injury. This is because resistance bands don’t apply pressure in the way that weights do, keeping your joints—and everything else—safe.”
- Protects Bones and Joints – “Resistance bands help your bones get stronger pretty much the same way they do your muscles. Strength training, in general, can support your bones to build more cells and become denser, preventing conditions like osteoporosis and back pain.”
Pursuing a healthy lifestyle is paramount to senior fitness and retaining independence. One way to safely do that is by working out with resistance bands. Caregivers and adult children need to help elderly parents using resistance bands. Once they get the hang of it, I’m betting they won’t resist.
If you have a story to share on how resistance bands have helped you or a loved one, I invite you to share below how they have helped.