By Jenny Gusella
As we age, one of the best things we can do for our health and happiness is to ensure that we are able to continue to perform the daily activities we want and need to do, whether climbing the stairs, picking up children or grandchildren, gardening, or whatever else you may encounter along your daily travels. The benefits of strength training for adults has been well documented in recent years, with findings that resistance training programs can help combat loss of muscle mass and the frailty that loss can bring. As this research continues, studies are beginning to delve specifically into the benefits of power training for adults, and are finding even stronger correlations between power and functionality (the ability to be able to do every day tasks with ease) than strength and functionality.
Power training is easy to incorporate into your workouts and can be scaled for all levels of ability. When you think about power training, you may think of sprinting or jumping. That’s certainly one way to practice exerting power, but not the only way. Some other options for power training include:
Speed Ladder: Short bursts of quick feet improves both coordination and power output. You don’t need to look like the star on a high school football team to reap the benefits of the speed ladder. Start by walking through the steps slowly, and then aim to progressively get quicker.
Kettlebell Swings: KB swings help you generate power through your lower body with low impact on your joints. Work with a trainer or coach to ensure proper form when beginning KB swings.
Medicine Ball Passes: Chest passes with a medicine ball either to a partner or against a wall is another great way to generate power that involves your upper body.
There are several other great exercises to try if you are looking to incorporate power into your fitness routine. Talk to a trainer or coach about the best way to get started.