Strength Training Benefits for Aging Bodies

elders exercisingWritten by Kaleigh Sullivan

As people age, activities that at one time were reasonably easy now take more effort. While it may seem like this is a natural part  of getting older, there are ways to prevent this. Exercise at any period of life is beneficial for the heart, muscles, joints, and mood, but movement and physical activity are especially helpful as the years continue to go by. Strength training especially can help slow down the aging process.

What is Strength Training?

Strength training (or resistance training) involves using resistance on your muscles in order to keep them strong. Strength training might make you picture bodybuilders in the gym lifting all different kinds of weights and using complicated machines. However, strength training does not have to include all these extra things or cost a lot of money. Using your own body weight can be a very effective and inexpensive option to strengthen muscle.¹ Doing strength training for 30 minutes just a couple of times a week at home can improve overall muscle and bone strength. Purchase yourself an exercise band for around $5 and use it while you watch TV or while sitting in a chair. 

Benefits of Strength Training for Older People

green weights

  1. The most up-to-date research has shown that strength-training exercises can combat weakness and frailty along with the serious consequences that come with them2.
  2. Strength training builds muscle mass and strength along with preserving bone density which can help people keep their independence as they age2.
  3. Strength training also can reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis by bathing the joints in synovial fluid from cells that line the joint.



¹ Paddock, C., & Field, P. (2019, July 30). Resistance training for healthy aging: The whys and hows. Medical News Today. Retrieved September 13, 2022, from

² Seguin, R., & Nelson, M. E. (2003). The benefits of strength training for older adults. American journal of preventive medicine, 25(3 Suppl 2), 141–149.

³ California Mobility. (2021, April 3). 21 Chair Exercises for Seniors: Complete Visual Guide. California Mobility. Retrieved September 13, 2022, from

This material is funded by UDSA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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