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Progressive Resistance Training is Particularly Beneficial for Aging Adults

Submitted by Eric Durak, MS - Wellness @ Home Workshops and The Cancer Wellness Company. For more information about Eric Durak visit:

As research has shown quite conclusively over the past decade, progressive resistance training is particularly beneficial for aging adults. “Progressive resistance” is when you build up strength in your muscles by gradually increasing the amount of weight you use. You can use either gym equipment or free weights. The former may be safer if you’re a novice, as free weights will require better form and control. Whichever one you choose, I recommend having a trainer take you through each exercise to make sure you have the proper form performing the exercise, to avoid injury.

While resistance training will improve muscle and bone strength, which can help prevent falls and fractures, mounting research also shows that strength training can have a profoundly beneficial impact on your brain as well. Brawn and brains are not mutually exclusive, it turns out... In one study, seniors doing progressive resistance training twice a week for one year experienced a marked improvement in their cognitive ability, scoring up to 13 percent higher in tests relating to decision making.

Strength training increases your body’s production of growth factors, which are responsible for cellular growth, proliferation, and differentiation. Some of these growth factors also promote the growth, differentiation, and survival of neurons, which helps explain why working your muscles also benefits your brain

High Intensity Interval Training as an Anti-Aging Tool

Make no mistake — virtually ALL forms of exercise are beneficial, but aside from strength training, high-intensity interval-type training may also be of particular benefit for aging adults. Once you hit the age of 30, you enter what's called "somatopause," at which point your levels of HGH (human growth hormone) begin to drop off quite dramatically. This decline of HGH is part of what drives your aging process, so maintaining your HGH levels gets increasingly important with age.
High intensity type exercises boost your body's natural production of human growth hormone (HGH), which will help address the muscle loss and atrophy that typically occurs with aging. In fact, your production of vital human growth hormone increases by as much as 77% during a high intensity fitness workout. And the higher your levels of HGH, the healthier, stronger, and more “youthful” you will be.

About the Author

Eric Durak is the President of Medical Health and Fitness in Santa Barbara, CA. He is the director of the Wellness @ Home program for home care professionals, and has worked his entire career in clinical exercise and The Cancer Wellness Company. Eric has produced award winning programs for wellness and fitness in diabetes, cancer, bariatrics, arthritis, and renal disease.

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© 2013, All Rights Reserved by Eric Durak, Medical Health & Fitness

Posted June 2013 on