If strength training isn’t part of your weekly routine yet, you’re missing out. Strength training helps ward off age-related muscle loss, keep your bones strong, promote mobility, prevent falls, and combat depression and cognitive decline. In other words, strength training is critical for staying independent.
“Getting and staying strong as you age will help you move better for longer and allow you to do the things you need and want to do on your own,” says Kate Gallagher, C.P.T., wellness coordinator at SilverCreek on Main, a community for older adults in Maple Grove, Minnesota.
That includes everyday activities like getting in and out of a chair or car, walking up and down stairs, and lifting grocery bags, Gallagher says, as all of these things require a considerable amount of total-body strength.
So, yes, you should be strength training. But it doesn’t need to be complicated, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve never set foot in the weight room before. The full-body beginner strength workout below is proof. It was specifically designed to do two things:
1. Target every major muscle group with just six functional exercises, meaning the movements closely resemble things you do in everyday life.
2. Eliminate, or at least reduce, the intimidation of being new to the weight room. All you need is a pair of dumbbells, a medicine ball, and some floor space, so you can set up wherever you’re comfortable and do the full workout right there.