The Wall Street Journal recently reported on Tufts University's new research in to strength training for seniors. Contrary to conventional wisdom that Seniors were to frail to lift weights. More and more research has shown that strength training helps prevent age-related disability, preserve bone mass in women and even improve brain power.
Wayne L. Westcott, instructor of exercise science at Quincy College provided a great quick overview for those hoping to start strength training over 50:
Train: Two or three times a week, with a day of rest between
Consult: A trainer to ensure you learn proper technique. Also, if you have pre-existing injuries, a trainer can help you modify exercises.
Consider: Using machines, at least in the beginning, to learn correct form. Free wights are effective after you have the basic form down. Free weights can also increase balance and coordination.
Ingest: Be sure to eat protein throughout the day, rather than at just one meal. Dr. Apovian, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center, recommends ingesting 1.5 grams of protein per Kg of body weight, spread throughout the day. Or simply, take tow thirds of your weight in pounds, and the resulting number is roughly the number of grams of protein a day Dr. Apovian recommends).
Starting an exercise and weight training routine can seem difficult and intimidating but remember Miram Nelson professor of nutrition at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston word's, "It's way more dangerous to not be active as an an older adult".