Strength training is an essential part of overall health and fitness for people of all ages.
Lean muscle mass naturally diminishes with age. You’ll increase the percentage of fat in your body if you don’t do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose over time. Regular strength or resistance training helps prevent the natural loss of lean muscle mass that comes with ageing.
But first what is Strength Training?
Strength training — also known as weight or resistance training — is physical activity designed to improve muscular fitness by exercising a specific muscle or muscle group against external resistance, including free-weights, weight machines, resistance bands, medicine balls, kettle bells, suspension equipment or your own body weight.
The basic principle is to apply a load and overload the muscle so it needs to adapt and get stronger.
10 Physical and Mental Health benefits achieved through resistance training:
- Improved Muscle Strength and Tone. Muscle strength is crucial in making it easier to perform your activities of daily living, especially as we get older.
- Protects and strengthens bones. By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- Weight Management. Strength training can help you manage or lose weight, and it can increase your metabolism to help you burn more calories.
- Improved Mobility, Balance and Posture. Building muscle also can contribute to better balance and may reduce your risk of falls. This can help you maintain independence as you age.
- Prevention of control of chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, such as arthritis, back pain, obesity, heart disease, depression and diabetes.
- Sharpen your thinking skills. Some research suggests that regular strength training and aerobic exercise may help improve thinking and learning skills for older adults.
- Boosts Energy levels and improves mood. Strength training will elevate your level of endorphins, which lift energy levels and improve mood. Greater Stamina – as you grow stronger you won’t get tired as easily
- Greater Stamina – as you grow stronger you won’t get tied as easily
- Decreased Risk of Injury – by protecting joints.
- Improved Sleep – There is also evidence strength training may help you sleep better too!
* A beginner needs to training two or three times per week to gain the maximum benefit of strength training.
Australia’s Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Adults (18-64 years)
- Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.