You may know the many benefits of strength training, but did you know that it’s as important — if not more important — to continue strength training as you age? Strength training is essential to maintaining an independent lifestyle. As we age, we begin to lose muscle mass and strength. However, exercising using resistance bands, free weights, or weight machines helps maintain your muscles. Strength training doesn’t just lead to strong muscles — it also improves bone health and strength, a key factor in reducing the risk of osteoporosis. This also means you’ll have a decreased risk of injuries like fractures, aches, and pains. With regular exercise that involves strength training — and routine with your chiropractor — you’ll notice more stability, flexibility, and ease of movement.
Here are a few fitness facilities and programs in London, Ontario that focus on helping people get the exercise they need to continue living a healthy, active lifestyle throughout all stages of life.
Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging (CCAA)
The CCAA is a not-for-profit national research and education centre within the Faculty of Health Sciences at London’s own Western University. The CCAA promotes physical activity and the well-being of older adults through a combination of basic and applied research, educational resources, and community-based programs. In addition to providing education on the subject of active aging in a variety of settings like long term care facilities and retirement homes, the CCAA offers a variety of exercise classes for seniors. They have a 60-minute fitness class that focuses on strength training using a variety of resistance equipment, plus a handful of other classes like yoga, combined fitness, and personal training.
YMCA of Southwestern Ontario
The YMCA offers 55+ fitness programs that are free on Thursdays until 2 pm. Their wellness classes for older adults include aqua fit, Tai Chi, aerobic classes, yoga, dance, and more. Their “Lite and Lively” strength training class is a low-intensity workout specifically designed for older adults, and their “Group Active” class is a combination of cardio, strength, balance, and flexibility with adjustable dumbbells, weight plates, body weight, and simple athletic movements.
Horton Street Seniors’ Centre (HSSC)
Operating out of the Boys and Girls Club of London, you’ll find the Horton Street Seniors Centre, a recreation and wellness facility for adults 55 and older. Members can participate in recreational activities and day trips plus stay active with their pools and fitness rooms. The centre offers a variety of fitness classes for seniors, including a 30-minute strength training class that utilizes both seated and standing exercises with the use of body weight and resistance bands. This class focuses on strengthening as well as balance components for the entire body. Seniors can also enjoy their walking program, yoga classes, aerobic classes, Tai Chi, aquafit classes, and more.
The Victorian Order of Nurses (VON)
The Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), is Canada’s longest-standing home and community health care charity delivering a wide range of vital health and wellness services. They operate Seniors Maintaining Active Roles Together (SMART®) & Falls Prevention classes out of a variety of locations throughout London, from retirement residences to community centres. The SMART® program is great for those of all levels of ability as the VON offers high, mid, and low mobility exercise classes for seniors. Classes are structured to improve balance, cardiovascular health, strength, and a general sense of well-being. Plus, each class includes a falls prevention education component.