Strength Training Critical for Active, Independent Aging

To the 43 million Americans who have low bone density, putting them at high risk of osteoporosis, physical therapists have an important message: exercise is good medicine. But not just any exercise – weight-bearing, muscle-strengthening exercise.

“Essential to staying strong and vital during older adulthood is participation in regular strengthening exercises, which help prevent osteoporosis and frailty by stimulating the growth of muscle and bone,” said David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., U.S. Surgeon General from 1998 to 2002. “Strength training exercises are easy to learn, and have been proven safe and effective through years of thorough research.”

And while this benefit of strength training for older adults is a powerful one, it’s simply just one in a list of proven reasons why seniors should make strength training a part of their lifestyles and fitness regimens.

While a reduction in strength is often considered an inevitable part of getting older, people of all ages should feel empowered to take charge of their overall health (including strength training) as they age.

Along with diet and regular check-ups with both a physician and a physical therapist, an exercise regimen that includes elements of strength and resistance training can help slow some of the effects of aging – this, while also allowing one to maintain a high quality of life through activity and independence.

“The work of scientists, health professionals, and older adult volunteers has greatly increased our knowledge about the aging process and how we can maintain strength, dignity and independence as we age,” Satcher said.

According to reams of medical research, the many proven benefits of weight-bearing and resistance exercise include:

Rebuilding Muscle: People do lose muscle mass as they age, but much of this can be slowed and even reversed through strength and resistance exercise. And of course, a stronger body has a direct impact on issues related to balance, fall prevention and independence.

Reducing Fat: We also tend to more easily put on weight as we get older. Studies show, however, that while older adults gain muscle mass through strength training, they also experience a reduction in body fat.

Reducing Blood Pressure: Studies have also shown that strength training is a great (and natural) way to reduce one’s blood pressure, even for those who “can’t tolerate or don’t respond well to standard medications.”

Improving Cholesterol Levels: Strength training can actual help improve the level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in the body by up to 21 percent, while also helping to reduce to levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

Strengthening Mental Health: This goes with all exercise, including strength training. Maintaining a high level of fitness can combat anxiety, depression, issues with stress, etc. Exercise is also great for memory!

Whether walking, jogging, hiking, dancing, etc., experts recommend 30 minutes of weight-bearing activity every day. Guidelines also suggest it’s also necessary to set aside another two to three days of strength and resistance training each week, which can include free weights, weight machines, Pilates, yoga, and so on.

And for the sake of both health and safety, a thorough strength, movement and balance assessment should precede any new exercise regimen, especially for older adults – assessments that physical therapists are uniquely qualified to perform.

San Juan Capistrano

Hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Tuesday: 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm

Services

  • Manual Therapy
  • Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedic Surgery Rehabilitation
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Industrial/ Work Comp Injuries
  • Neck and Spine Injuries
  • Performance Enhancement
  • Ergonomic Assessment
  • Physical Therapy
  • Balance & Gait Training
  • Surgical Rehab
  • Sports Therapy
  • Sports Injury Rehab
  • Manual Therapy
  • Spine Specialists
  • Worker’s Comp Rehab
  • Strengthening
  • Conditioning
  • Pain Control
  • Throwing Rehab
  • ACL Rehab
  • Joint Replacements

Dr. Matthew Kirsten PT, DPT, TPI Level 1 Cert.

Dr. Matthew Kirsten is a local to Mission Viejo having graduated from Mission Viejo High School in 2004. Matt received his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton in 2009 where he also competed as a Division 1 pole vaulter on the track and field team. After his graduation from CSUF, Matt returned to his high school to coach the pole vault team. Matt went on to get his Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine in San Diego. Matt has since received certification from the Titleist Performance Institute as a level 1 medical professional. He continues to enjoy working with athletes of all skill levels and getting his patients back to the activities they are passionate about. In his spare time, Matt enjoys playing ice hockey and watching sports with his wife Jennifer and son Logan.

Robert Oakes, PTA

Bobby Oakes grew up in Capistrano Beach, California and attended St. Margaret’s Episcopal High School in San Juan Capistrano. He received his Physical Therapy Assistant License in October of 2018 after attending American Career College in Anaheim. Bobby is also Titleist Performance Institute Certified in addition to his physical therapy credentials. During his free time Bobby enjoys playing golf, surfing, running, and traveling. Bobby strives to provide the best treatment for every patient he sees and will always go the extra mile to provide the best care.

 

Jessica England, Patient Service Rep.

West Covina

Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Friday: 7:00 am – 4:00 pm

Services

  • Orthopedic Rehabilitation
  • Post-Operative conditions
  • Joint Mobilization
  • Strength and Conditioning Programs
  • Industrial/Workers’ Compensation Injuries
  • Sports Injury
  • Certified MDT (McKenzie Approach) for Spine and Extremities
  • Occupational Therapy/Certified Hand Therapist
  • Custom Splint Fabrication
  • ASTYM – Soft Tissue Mobilization Technique

Saousan Ramadan, PT, DPT

Saousan is originally from Boston, MA and obtained her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Simmons University. She began working with pediatrics, and has since worked with sports related injuries and the geriatric population.   She enjoys working with all populations and is an advocate for patient education and injury prevention. In her spare time, she loves to travel and has been to 18 countries (so far). She speaks 5 languages conversationally in addition to being bilingual in Arabic and English.

Ed Detels OTR/L CHT, Certified Hand Therapist

Ed Detels has been practicing hand therapy for over 20 years in Orange County. He has a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy and obtained his national designation as a Certified Hand Therapist in 2002. He partnered with PRN to found California Hand Therapy in 2005, which has grown to 11 centers and employs 8 certified hand therapists as the leading outpatient hand therapy group on the West coast. Ed obtained his certification in ASTYM (a soft-tissue mobilization technique) as well as extensive continuing education with custom splinting, kinesiotape application and nerve mobilization. Ed is the father of three.

San Juan Capistrano

Hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Tuesday: 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm

Services

  • Manual Therapy
  • Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedic Surgery Rehabilitation
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Industrial/ Work Comp Injuries
  • Neck and Spine Injuries
  • Performance Enhancement
  • Ergonomic Assessment
  • Physical Therapy
  • Balance & Gait Training
  • Surgical Rehab
  • Sports Therapy
  • Sports Injury Rehab
  • Manual Therapy
  • Spine Specialists
  • Worker’s Comp Rehab
  • Strengthening
  • Conditioning
  • Pain Control
  • Throwing Rehab
  • ACL Rehab
  • Joint Replacements

Dr. Matthew Kirsten PT, DPT, TPI Level 1 Cert.

Dr. Matthew Kirsten is a local to Mission Viejo having graduated from Mission Viejo High School in 2004. Matt received his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton in 2009 where he also competed as a Division 1 pole vaulter on the track and field team. After his graduation from CSUF, Matt returned to his high school to coach the pole vault team. Matt went on to get his Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine in San Diego. Matt has since received certification from the Titleist Performance Institute as a level 1 medical professional. He continues to enjoy working with athletes of all skill levels and getting his patients back to the activities they are passionate about. In his spare time, Matt enjoys playing ice hockey and watching sports with his wife Jennifer and son Logan.

Robert Oakes, PTA

Bobby Oakes grew up in Capistrano Beach, California and attended St. Margaret’s Episcopal High School in San Juan Capistrano. He received his Physical Therapy Assistant License in October of 2018 after attending American Career College in Anaheim. Bobby is also Titleist Performance Institute Certified in addition to his physical therapy credentials. During his free time Bobby enjoys playing golf, surfing, running, and traveling. Bobby strives to provide the best treatment for every patient he sees and will always go the extra mile to provide the best care.

Jessica England, Patient Service Rep.