Almost weekly I’m finding new articles online which outline the incredible benefits – and utmost importance – of being strong as we mature. 

I speak to my tai chi students in the 60+ age range about this quite a lot and the general consensus is that they would love to be stronger but either have no idea how to go about it, do not want to go to a gym, can’t afford a personal trainer, or do not have space or equipment. However, the need to increase strength remains incredibly important for them!

Their inklings are most definitely backed by science, here are just a few examples that I have found online recently:

  1. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) jointly recommend strength training for older adults. They state, “Older adults should also participate in muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week.” (Reference: Nelson et al., 2007)
  2. A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that resistance training improved muscle strength, functional capacity, and quality of life in older adults. The researchers concluded, “Resistance training is a safe, feasible, and effective intervention to improve muscle strength, functional capacity, and well-being in older adults.” (Reference: Liu and Latham, 2009)
  3. In a systematic review published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, the authors concluded that resistance training in older adults resulted in increased muscle strength and improved functional performance, contributing to better physical functioning and independence. They stated, “Progressive resistance training is effective for improving muscle strength and functional performance in older adults.” (Reference: Liu and Shiroy, 2014)
  4. A randomized controlled trial published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that resistance training improved cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. The researchers concluded, “Resistance training may improve cognition in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.” (Reference: Liu-Ambrose et al., 2010)
  5. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine investigated the effects of resistance training on bone density in postmenopausal women and found that it led to significant improvements in bone mineral density at the hip and spine. The authors concluded, “Supervised moderate- to high-intensity resistance training is effective in increasing bone mineral density.” (Reference: Layne and Nelson, 1999) 

Michael Mosley’s popular ‘Just One Thing’ BBC Radio 4 programme promoted weight lifting as a great way to stay healthy, improve brain power, and live longer: Listen here…


At WCA we will be starting a new class, called Gentle Strength, in September 2023. Find out more here.


  1. Increased Muscle Mass: Strength training helps counteract age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia) by promoting muscle growth and preserving muscle mass, leading to improved strength and mobility.
  2. Enhanced Bone Health: Regular strength training stimulates bone remodelling, increasing bone density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
  3. Improved Balance and Stability: Strength training exercises that target core muscles and lower body strength can enhance balance and stability, reducing the risk of falls and related injuries.
  4. Enhanced Metabolism: Strength training helps maintain or increase muscle mass, which can boost metabolism and aid in weight management.
  5. Better Functional Abilities: Stronger muscles and improved physical fitness from strength training can enhance daily activities, such as lifting, carrying groceries, and performing household tasks with ease.
  6. Joint Health and Pain Management: Strengthening the muscles around joints can alleviate joint pain and stiffness, improving joint stability and reducing the risk of conditions like arthritis.
  7. Increased Independence: By improving strength, mobility, and balance, strength training promotes independence and the ability to maintain an active lifestyle.
  8. Cardiovascular Health: Some forms of strength training, such as circuit training or high-intensity interval training (HIIT), can provide cardiovascular benefits and improve heart health.
  9. Cognitive Function: Research suggests that strength training may have positive effects on cognitive function, including memory, attention, and executive functions, helping maintain brain health as individuals age.
  10. Mental Well-being: Engaging in regular strength training can improve mood, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and enhance overall mental well-being.


I should also add a 10b – strength training is fun! It doesn’t have to be just grunting and sweating away in a gym, you can join a community of like-minded people and get strong together, whilst enjoying each other’s company!


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