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Senior Adults + Weight Training = Success in Improving Diabetes, Depression, and Sleep

Some of the Biggest Rewards of Weight Training are Especially Beneficial for Senior Adults

Improved Control of Diabetes

More than 14 million Americans have type II diabetes�a staggering three-hundred percent increase over the past forty years�and the numbers are steadily climbing. In addition to being at greater risk for heart and renal disease, diabetes is also the leading cause of blindness in senior adults. Fortunately, studies now show that lifestyle changes such as weight training have a profound impact on helping senior adults manage their diabetes. In a recent study of Hispanic men and women, 16 weeks of weight training produced dramatic improvements in glucose control that are comparable to taking diabetes medication. Additionally, the study volunteers were stronger, gained muscle, lost body fat, had less depression, and felt much more self-confident.

Healthy State of Mind

Weight training provides similar improvements in depression as anti-depressant medications. Currently, it is not known if this is because people feel better when they are stronger or if weight training produces a helpful biochemical change in the brain. It is most likely a combination of the two. When senior adults participate in weight training programs, their self-confidence and self-esteem improve, which has a strong impact on their overall quality of life.

Sleep Improvement

People who exercise regularly enjoy improved sleep quality. They fall asleep more quickly, sleep more deeply, awaken less often, and sleep longer. As with depression, the sleep benefits obtained as a result of weight training are comparable to treatment with medication but without the side effects or the expense.

Next: What Other Research Has Been Done on the Health Effects of Weight Training on Senior Adults?

Previous: Weight Training Successfully Addresses Issues That Seniors Face: The Loss of Bone Density and Balance

Adapted from: Growing Stronger - Strength Training for Older Adults: Why Strength Training?


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