If you knew that a particular type of exercise could be of benefit your heart, improve your balance, strengthen your bones as well as help you to lose weight – all while making you look and feel better – wouldn’t you want to get started right away?
Well, studies show that strength training can offer all those benefits and more.
What Is Strength Training?
Strength training or resistance training is a kind of exercise which focuses on using resistance in order to strengthen your muscles. The fundamental principle is to apply a load and overload the muscle so it needs to adapt and get stronger.
What’s very important for everyone to know is that strength training is not just about bodybuilders who are lifting weights in a gym. Regular strength or resistance training also helps prevent the natural loss of lean muscle mass that comes with ageing (the medical term for this loss is sarcopenia).
The Necessity Of Strength Training
Lean muscle mass naturally diminishes with age. You’ll up the percentage of fat in your body if you don’t do anything to restore the lean muscle which you lose over time. Strength training may assist you with preserving and enhancing your muscle mass at any age.
Strength Training Makes You Stronger As Well As Fitter
This advantage is the obvious one but it shouldn’t be ignored. Muscle strength is vital in making it easier to do the things which you need to do on a day-to-day basis . This is especially as we get older and naturally begin to lose muscle.
Strength training is frequently referred to as resistance training as it involves strengthening and toning your muscles through contracting them against a resisting force. There are two kinds of resistance training:
- Isometric resistance includes contracting your muscles against a non-moving object, for example against the floor in a push-up.
- Isotonic strength training includes contracting your muscles through a range of motion as in weightlifting.
Strength Training Protects Bone Health As Well As Muscle Mass
At approximately age 30, we start to lose as much as between 3 and 5 percent of lean muscle mass per year thanks to ageing. According to a study which was published a number of years ago just 30 minutes twice a week of high intensity resistance – as well as impact training – was shown to improve functional performance. This type of training has also been shown to improve:
- Bone density,
- Structure, and
- Strength in postmenopausal women with low bone mass.
Likewise, the medical guidelines note that, for everyone, muscle-strengthening activities assist with preserving or increasing muscle mass, strength, and power, which are essential for bone, joint, and muscle health as we age.
As you include strength training exercises into your fitness routine, you might notice improvement in your strength over time, and when you do, reward yourself with some of the slots Canada has to offer, because you’re a winner!
As your muscle mass increases, you’ll likely have the ability to lift weight more easily as well as for longer periods of time. If you keep it up, you could continue to increase your strength, even if you’re not in shape when you begin.