Resistance training, medical alarm can help with independent living

Alan Wu

April 6, 2011

Millions of baby boomers around the country are getting ready for their retirement, and for many that means preparing to make their lifestyle and home more age-friendly. One of the most popular ways to do this is to start going to the gym, because exercise is key to staying independent during the golden years.

A new study highlighted the importance of fitness – in particular, resistance training.

"Resistance exercise is a great way to increase lean muscle tissue and strength capacity so that people can function more readily in daily life," said Mark Peterson, a research fellow in the University of Michigan Physical Activity and Exercise Intervention Research Laboratory.

He and his team found that staying active can reduce muscle deterioration in elderly adults.

Seniors who are looking to age safely and independently at home may also want to consider investing in a medical alarm. This device can be used to instantly send a personal emergency response message if one suffers an unexpected injury.

It may be possible to lower one's chance of falls by using resistance training, but older adults who have led a relatively sedentary lifestyle should use caution when adopting new exercise techniques.