A new position statement suggests resistance training should be considered vital to improving the health and longevity of senior citizens.

The statement makes recommendations for successful resistance training, or exercise focused on building muscle endurance, programs for older adults. 

When you poll people about living past 100 years old, few respond positively. It could be loss of friends and family, physical and cognitive decline, loss of independence and poor quality of life. If physical decline were mitigated, people may not be able to live longer, but they might live better.

The position statement provides 11 practical applications divided into four main components: program design variables, physiological adaptations, functional benefits, and considerations for frailty, sarcopenia and other chronic conditions.

The applications include suggestions on training types and amounts of repetitions and intensities, patient groups that will need adaptations in training models, and how training programs can be adapted for older adults with disabilities or those residing in assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.

The authors say the benefits of participating in resistance training as an older adult outweigh the risks but consult with your physician before anything too strenuous. While these population-level claims about risk and reward are thrown around casually, they are useless from an individual point of view. You may have other risk factors that are more important.