Throughout the years, workout fanatics have argued whether cardio or weightlifting provides the most long-term health benefits which provides a better overall workout, cardio or weight training. Realistically, though, those who combine aspects of both see the best, longest lasting results. Although there are benefits of both cardio and weightlifting for seniors, blending the two types of exercise with a well-balanced diet can create the optimal circumstances for increased fat loss, improved mental health, and enhanced overall wellness.
Benefits of Cardio for Seniors
Cardio, or cardiovascular exercise, includes anything that gets your heart pumping. Also known as aerobic exercise, cardio strengthens the entire cardiovascular system, including both the heart and lungs. Cardio consists of moving large muscle groups repeatedly at a low to moderate intensity to improve one’s aerobic capacity, or how much oxygen is delivered through the body during physical activity. While someone with low aerobic capacity may have a hard time walking up a single flight of stairs without feeling out of breath, due to a lack of oxygen circulation, someone with high aerobic capacity will likely feel more energized during day-to-day activities and when working out.
Cardio not only helps strengthen the heart, lungs, and muscle groups but also offers many other benefits for seniors. Cardio also:
- Reduces joint pain and stiffness
- Allows for better sleep
- Lowers blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease
- Decrease chances of stroke
- Improve memory and cognitive function
- Burns calories
- Helps control an appetite
- Boosts mood and overall wellness
Benefits of Weightlifting for Seniors
Weightlifting may be intimidating at first, especially for seniors. You may not know where to start or be worried that weightlifting will cause unwanted strain on your body. Luckily, these concerns are easily remedied with just a little research. Weight training and resistance training are anaerobic exercises, meaning that your strength is not based on the amount of oxygen that your blood is able to carry. Weight training does so much more than just build muscle; it also:
- Reduces abdominal fat, also known as visceral fat
- Improves organ function due to reduced visceral fat
- Helps regulate blood sugar levels
- Reduces the risk of cancer
- Improves mobility and flexibility
- Lowers risk of injury due to improved mobility
- Prevents osteoporosis
- Protects against cognitive decline
- Helps prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia
Weightlifting can also improve one’s overall mental health by reducing anxiety symptoms!
Balance is Key
Overall, the best workout plan for seniors includes aspects of both aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Talk to a doctor to see what exercises you can start to incorporate into your routine to improve your overall quality of life!
Got Medicare Questions?
We hope this information on the benefits of cardio and weightlifting for seniors is helpful to you.
If you have questions about your Medicare coverage, call Empower Brokerage today. Let us help with your Medicare questions so you can get back to the activities you enjoy the most. (888) 446-9157 or click here to get an INSTANT QUOTE
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