Is Body Building Safe for Seniors?

Body building is an intensive activity that many perceive to be only performed by the young and fit. This is not always the case as there is a small growing number of seniors engaging in this impressive activity. Although the lifting of weight can be deemed hazardous, with the proper guidance and care, these risks can be reduced.

Senior citizens face many risks due to their failing health, and to some, letting a senior citizen enter a body building gym is tantamount to manslaughter. However, with the proper care, these risks can be mitigated and body building made safe for senior citizens.

As a person ages, the ability of the heart to supply blood to the body gradually weakens. Cardiovascular endurance is a necessary trait to have when body building and at first glance, it may seem that senior citizens are incapable of exerting the suffice energy required to fully build their body. There are, however, ways to allow them to maximize, and gradually increase their cardiovascular potential. Senior citizens starting out in body building would do well to augment it with another set of exercise. They could do body building and other exercises on alternate days, or could perform them on different parts of the day. Walking, swimming and tai chi are good exercises to alternate with body building since they are low impact exercises that promote relaxation and relief for the body. It can also allow muscles strained from bodybuilding to remain used, but not overly so, enhancing the building effects while minimizing the stress.

The weight room is a veritable garden of danger. Weights may fall on limbs and feet, cables may snap, these and other hazards make the entrance of an elderly person such a risk. However, constant vigilance and proper supervision can minimize these risks. A senior citizen should never engage in a bodybuilding workout without the express, given, written approval of their doctor. They should never engage in any activity inside the weight room without supervision of a trained physical fitness expert and without a skilled medical person nearby.[ad#co-1]

Aging brings loss of coordination, slowing of reflexes, and loss of muscle strength. It is for these reasons that a competent spotter, someone fully capable of easily lifting whatever weights a senior citizen is lifting, is vital. Sudden muscle jerks,  a mistimed pull or a slipped grip can all lead to grave physical injury and may result in death. Having someone on hand in case of these emergencies capable of preventing weights from crushing the life out of a senior citizen can make body building for seniors exponentially safer. Weightlifting should be always taken slow when dealing with seniors.

A proper weight plan should also be implemented. This should consider the senior person’s physical condition and limitations in order to improve their capability to mold their body the way they see fit. A complete physical and a complete examination of the senior’s medical history is thus a necessity.

The weight room is a hazardous place for the careless. Young or old, if you take bodybuilding lightly, It is more likely that you will suffer bodily harm. Bodybuilding can be made safe by taking the proper precautions. Although at first glance it may seem dangerous, with constant vigilance, proper care and a suited fitness plan, body building can be made safe for senior citizens.[ad#afterpost]

References

  • Senior Bodybuilding: Keep It Light And Stay Safe.  Retrieved June 13,14 2011 from http://www.fitness-equipment-health.com/senior_bodybuilding.html
  • Sutton, Lisa.  Senior Fitness retrieved June 14, 2011 from http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/training_for_seniors.htm
  • Caramel,  (2010) Is Body Building Safe for Seniors? Retrieved June 16 2011 at http://www.brighthub.com/health/fitness/articles/78796.aspx