And I mean more than those purple 5 pounders!
There are numerous health benefits to incorporating strength training into your health and fitness regimen. While some are more obvious than others, the 5 discussed here will cover the gamut of benefits in terms of your entire health and wellness spectrum.
- Lowers risk for osteoporosis- Osteoporosis gets more common as we age. As the minerals in bones are lost, bones become weaker, more brittle, and leave you more susceptible to fractures from falls. When mechanical stress(resistance training) is applied to bone, it remodels, and re-builds in order to better deal with the increased stress. This process will help to improve the strength of your bones more effectively than any product, or calcium supplement you’re recommended to purchase.
- Lowers risk for diabetes- Studies have shown that resistance training will increase your glucose tolerance, and decrease your insulin response to glucose. The opposite of these two findings are commonly found in pre-diabetic, and diabetic patients.
- Better weight management- Resistance training will improve your body composition, decrease your percent body fat, and as a result increase your fat free mass. As a result of increased fat free mass(muscle tissue for this discussion), the body requires an increase in energy expenditure. This means that you will burn more calories at rest and during exercise with more muscle mass. Increases in muscle mass also decrease the likelihood of weight fluctuations that commonly result from drastic dietary changes alone.
- Lowers risk of injury- Increasing strength and muscle tone will allow joints to withstand greater stressors, thus decreasing the risk of injury to a joint. Resistance training can also improve balance and help reduce the risk of falls.
- Keeps you independent as you age- The ability to sit down and stand up without help. Carrying groceries up a flight of stairs. Getting in and out of a car. Being able to cut your food with a knife. These are things that many people take for granted; until you can’t do it anymore. It’s a fact that more people are in nursing homes (and assisted living communities) because they cannot complete activities of daily living than are there because of symptoms of a specific disease.
Falls among older adults(65+) can have serious and deadly results. Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries among older adults. In addition, falls are the most common cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in this demographic.
Resistance training in order to increase strength and improve balance will increase the likelihood of simple daily tasks being completed without the help of others, and will also protect older adults from the results of traumatic falls.There is a wide array of options when it comes to exercise. From yoga and running; to boot camps, power lifting or CrossFit; there’s something for everyone. Hopefully, after reading this; if you’re routine did not involve some resistance training, you’ll now have a better understanding of why it should.