Strength/ Resistance Training
Strength training is one of the oldest disciplines known to man. Every physical activity requires us to use our muscles and bones; therefore our entire skeletal structure depends on a strong physical frame. However we are now living sedentary lifestyles which mean that we do not have the strength and stamina for daily activities; strength training has this added benefit.
• Fat Burner: Consider the fact that if your muscles are strong your body is more likely to recover quickly from injuries, while at the same time burning more calories. Muscle tissue is the most metabolically active tissue in the body and burns up to 50 calories per pound! Therefore if you add 10 extra pounds of muscle to your body, you will burn 500 extra calories everyday just sitting around. Recently researchers found that regular
weight training boosts basal metabolic rate by about 15%. Strength training can be used to turn your body into a fat burning, muscle building machine! Not to mention it helps you stick to your diet. To kick start your weight loss plan do some strength training since you burn calories and continues to do so after strength training, a process called "physiologic homework."
• Posture Support: As we age your muscles become weaker, if they are not used. After puberty you lose 1% of your muscle mass every year. So essentially if you don't use them you lose them. Also without strong muscles we cannot have a good posture. Strength training builds muscles and improves our posture, balance and coordination. Interestingly for those who struggle with poor flexibility and balance, strength training can reduce your risk of falling by as much as 40%, which is crucial as you age. As you strengthen your muscles in your body, your stamina also improves. Bone mass and density also increases when you strength train.
• Healthy Living: Strength training increases endurance, bone density & testosterone levels. Strength training strengthens your joints, lowers cholesterol & improves your sleep. Nutrition is important if you desire to get results from strength training. Strength training effectively reduces arthritis pain and increases bone density in post-menopausal women. For diabetes sufferers strength training paired with a healthy lifestyle can improve your blood glucose level.
• Develops Character: Strength training teaches you persistence, sacrifice, self-control, responsibility & builds self-confidence. You'll get out of strength training what you put into it.
• Boosts Energy and Improves Mood: Strength training improves your mood by elevating your endorphin levels. Strength training as been shown to be a great anti-depressant, to help you sleep better and improve your overall quality of life. You use more calories to make and maintain muscle than fat and strength training does boost your metabolism by 15%.
How to Get Started
I know you might think that you need expensive exercise equipment, heavy weights or a gym membership but this is not true. You can do strength training with your own body weight doing pushups, jump squats, lunges, and mountain biking to name a few. As always consult your health care provider before embarking on any strength training program.