Apart from the fact that strength training will help you look and feel amazing, there are many more reasons why it should have a feature-sized place in your exercise repertoire. As we age, our muscle mass will naturally decrease over time and our fat percentage will naturally increase in compensation. Without a proactive strength training program to help modify and prevent these changes, our overall health, weight management and general wellbeing can suffer significant adverse affects.
Strength Training 101
If you’re already out there exercising, that’s awesome! Doing the right sort of exercise for age and stage is even more awesome. At PERFIT, strength training, or resistance training, is specifically designed to improve your muscular fitness by exercising a particular muscle against an external resistance such as bands, weights, kettle bells or even your own body weight. This type of training has been proven to reduce the onset of sarcopenia (muscle reduction) as we age, as well as numerous other benefits.
Here’s 10 that you need to know about.
Improved muscle strength and tone
There’s no denying that life is better when you’re stronger. Just dealing with the everyday churn of kids, shopping and household tasks can be super tiring, but developing enhanced muscle tone through targeted activity means that all those little extras become that bit easier. Added bonus: you get to look awesome along the way.
Bone density and protection
Bone brittleness and structure is definitely a key consideration area for women as we age and become at greater risk of conditions such as osteoporosis. Strength training can help mitigate this by placing stress directly on our bones, which in turn increases the bone density and improves the strength capability. All of this is important in keeping us active and independent for longer.
Whilst diet and aerobic exercise will always partner together in managing weight loss, what is less widely understood is the role that strength training can take in increasing your resting metabolism and helping achieve further weight loss. Resistance exercise keeps that metabolism active long after your exercise session has ended – meaning you continue to burn calories and get to your weight-loss goals that bit quicker. By increasing your lean muscle mass you also feel stronger and can work out for longer. It’s a win-win!
Helping our bones and muscles stay strong is key to maintaining personal balance and body structure. Sustaining a strong muscular structure will help us retain balance and posture as well as mobility, flexibility and movement. This also helps reduce our risk of falls as we age, as well as improving our speed of recovery from any health issues.
There are many health benefits to strength training which also include managing the symptoms and side effects of some chronic conditions such as arthritis, back pain, obesity, heart disease, depression and diabetes. Training also helps reduce your resting blood pressure, controls your blood sugar and improves your cholesterol levels. What’s not to love?
Feed your mind
Research suggests that regular strength training combined with aerobic exercise can help improve cognitive abilities as well as improve learning skills in older adults. The increased blood flow to the brain is proving to be beneficial not just in physical health, but also by helping repair and regenerate new brain cells.
The perfect way to lift your mood is to get those little endorphins racing around your body telling you how wonderful life is. Any exercise is great at doing this, but there is further evidence to suggest that strength training has a particular superpower in having a positive effect on the brain. As well as helping you feel great on the outside, you can use a PERFIT strength training class to instantly switch your mood up the natural way.
All that energy you’re expending on strength training is headed right back for you. With regular strength training sessions you will grow physically stronger and feel the health benefits. Your levels of stamina will significantly increase giving you more energy across the whole day.
In order to live the life we are accustomed to, we need to protect our physical infrastructure in order to protect ourselves. Strength training plays a key role in helping us invest in our muscles and joints for the long-term, building them up and making sure the jigsaw pieces fit together to mutually support each other. This all helps keep us free from injury with quicker recovery times.
More zeds for bed
Whilst we know that any physical activity makes for a better night’s sleep, recent research has revealed that resistance training specifically can help you fall asleep faster – as well as giving you better quality zeds as you snooze. It’s the exercise that dreams are made of.