Protect yourself by getting stronger
As COVID-19 continues to be omnipresent in our lives, we must keep exploring options that can help protect us from severe illness. We are already aware of social distancing, hand hygiene, masks, vaccines, and testing – but what else can we do to protect ourselves during these uncertain times? It turns out strength training may be one of your most important and overlooked tools! The connection between muscle strength and COVID-19 severity can be explained by the essential role that muscle plays in health and disease.
In particular, those with weaker muscles are also shown to have more impaired respiratory function and coordination when infected. They have a poorer immune response with greater stress on the body, which can quickly lead to COVID-19 hospitalization. This is true regardless of age, sex, and other health conditions including obesity, heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic kidney disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Therefore, adults with weaker muscle strength may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 and at higher risk of getting severely sick.
Why strength training matters
The bottom line? We can improve our physical conditioning and capacity to fight infection. By decreasing our physical vulnerability, we can live better, longer, and more resilient lives. Simply put – protect yourself by getting stronger.
Looking to improve on your strength training? Let’s review the International Exercise Recommendations in Older Adults – Expert Consensus Guidelines.
To maximize effort put into building muscle, resistance training should be:
- 2-3x per week.
- Each session should include 1-3 sets of 8-12 reps, hitting 8-10 major muscle groups.
- Recommended weight choices should gradually increase from 30-40% up to 70-80% of your 1 Rep Max (RM). Hello, load!
- Effort should feel like a 5-8 on our Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale.
- Exercise sets should be followed by 1-3 minutes of rest, with at least one day of rest in between resistance training of the same muscle groups.
Need some great examples of resistance training?
- Bodyweight exercise (yes it still counts!)
- Free weights or weighted household items
- Machine-based exercise
- AgeProof EMOM workout!
Speaking of AgeProof… Want the added bonus? Keep reading!!
Regular group exercise is shown to help older adults improve or maintain their functional health and enjoy their lives. They felt socially connected and experienced a sense of security in the community through caring for others and supporting each other exercise.
This is exactly why we took AgeProof Your Body (APYB) to a digital platform that we have been able to share worldwide. At APYB, which is a program designed by MovementX with input from the team of healthcare providers at NVFP, we continue to offer a safe space for our community to join together each week to move with their peers, all from the safety of their own homes. Turns out exercise is great for not only the body, but also for the mind and the spirit!
We said it once, we’ll say it again: Increasing full-body strength with regular training can reduce your risk of severe COVID illness, as well as keep you thriving, independent, and happy!
Join us at AgeProof Your Body to start training today!