Ageing with Strength & Power- Benefits of Resistance Training

Ageing with Strength & Power-Benefits of Resistance Training

We can all agree that exercise is healthy, comes in many forms and has many benefits. It has been found to improve heart and brain function, helps to control weight, slows the effects of aging and may help lower the risks of several chronic diseases such as: cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, improvement of mobility, mental health, and quality of life. And of course, we can look and feel our best.

As we age, resistance training is critical to our health as it allows us to develop power, the ability to exert force quickly and to build strength. Strength/Resistance training or weightlifting either with machines or free weights, is one type of resistance training.

Resistance training has been shown to help with Immunity, building stronger bones, muscle tone, hormonal balance, metabolism support, weight control, mental health, and support metabolism.  Resistance training requires our muscles to contract to lift a heavy object against the pull of gravity. Exercise such as resistance training improves frailty, strength, mobility, and provides us with energy. Building and maintaining muscle strength as we age enables us to get out of the chair, maintain our balance, climb stairs, allows us to bend down to pick up an object off the floor, and sustain our posture by sitting or standing in the same position for longer than 30 minutes.

What is the role of muscles in the body?

Muscles work by either contracting or relaxing to cause movement. Our muscles are attached to bones ,internal organs, and blood vessels. Nearly all movement in the body is the result of muscle contraction and without it, your body starts breaking down the muscle which causes it to decrease in size and strength.

Sarcopenia an age related condition is an “involuntary loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength”. Symptoms of the condition include falling, muscle weakness, slow walking speed, muscle wasting and difficulty performing normal daily activities. Reduced activity further shrinks muscle mass and creates muscle weakness.

Resistance exercise like weight training is one of the best ways of reversing the loss of muscle mass as we age, and promotes muscle gain in both men and women. There are many benefits of resistance training including improved physical performance, movement control, walking speed, functional independence, cognitive abilities, self-esteem, and an increase in bone density and muscle mass.

Exercise does matter, and these small changes can lead to big improvements in power and strength. You don’t need to go the gym to lift weights. Start at  home with free weights and ankle weights. Remember consistency is the key.

Eat Well- Stay Active- Create Balance