Why Resistance Training?
The first thing most people do when they enter the gym to head straight to cardio; the weight lifting side with all the dumbbells, barbells, and cable machines can certainly be intimidating! Resistance training is having your body work against gravity, whether that is bodyweight or using alternative options. Resistance training does not have to be at the gym; you can easily do resistance training at home with small dumbbells, resistance bands, bottles of water, or even your body weight.
I’m going to share some benefits of resistance training and why you should start!
1. It builds muscle strength and increases bone density. Muscle strength is useful for protecting your joints. Weight-bearing exercises cause stress on your muscles and bones and make them stronger. Stronger bones decrease your risk for reduced bone density and fractures as you age.
2. It helps with weight loss or weight management. With resistance training, you are building muscle, so your body burns more calories to supply your muscles with energy. With steady-state cardio (for example: walking on the treadmill at the same speed for thirty minutes) your body will just burn calories while you work out. But with resistance training, your body will continue to burn more calories long after your workout is over.
3. Increases balance. Resistance training requires the balance to do lunges, squats, or even planks. With stronger muscles, your body will acquire better balance. As you age, it will help decrease your risk of falls and injuries.
4. Increases heart health. Resistance training helps strengthen your heart muscles because it puts a good stress on your heart to pump and work harder to put oxygen out to all your muscles.
5. Fit while sitting. People who struggle with being able to walk and get around can still be active. Try chair exercises with a couple of soup cans or bottles of water. Check out more chair activities here.
6. Lower blood sugar. Resistance training can help lower blood sugar. When you do resistance training, your body better utilizes the glucose for your muscles and decreases the need for insulin.
7. Greater energy. Just with any exercise, you will gain more strength as your body adapts to the activity. The less tired you will be and greater stamina you will have to do things that usually would tire you out!
Overall, resistance training or strength training can have lots of great benefits. Remember, it does not have to be an hour-long workout; it can be fifteen to twenty minutes if that is all you have. Your body will thank you in the long run!
Next week I will be giving some tips on how to get started with resistance training.