Benefits of Strength Training
As we age, it’s common to experience a decline in muscle mass and strength. This can lead to a variety of health issues, including increased risk of falls, reduced mobility, and even chronic disease. Fortunately, research has shown that strength training can help adults maintain and even increase muscle mass, leading to a variety of physical and mental health benefits.
Here are some of the key benefits of strength training for older adults:
Resistance exercise, such as weightlifting or resistance band training, has been shown to rebuild muscle tissue in people aged 50 to 90. Even a relatively brief program of resistance exercise, lasting 20 to 40 minutes per session, two or three days a week, can lead to a gain of three to four pounds of muscle after just three to four months of training.
Recharging Metabolism: Strength training increases energy use during both the exercise session and the muscle recovery and rebuilding period—up to three days after each workout. This means that regular strength training can help boost your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day.
Reducing Fat: Many people accumulate fat as they age, even if their eating patterns remain the same. Fortunately, regular strength training can lead to a three- to four-pound decrease in fat weight, in addition to the muscle gains mentioned above.
Reducing Resting Blood Pressure: Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Around one-third of American adults have high blood pressure. Numerous studies have shown significant reductions in resting blood pressure readings after two or more months of strength training.
Enhancing Postcoronary Performance: For older adults who have had problems with cardiovascular health, resistance exercise has proven to be a productive means for attaining and maintaining desirable body weight, increasing muscle mass and strength, improving physical performance, speeding recovery from the cardiovascular event, and enhancing self-efficacy.
Resisting Diabetes: People who have desirable body weights and moderate to high levels of muscular fitness have a very low risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown significant improvements in insulin sensitivity and glycaemic control after several weeks of strength training.
Increasing Bone Density: Muscle loss is closely associated with bone loss, but fortunately, strength training increases both muscle mass and bone mass. Substantial increases in bone mineral density have been seen after several months of regular resistance exercise. Regular resistance training is the most productive means for developing a strong and injury-resistant musculoskeletal system.
Decreasing Physical Discomfort: While a large percentage of people with lower-back pain can reduce discomfort by strengthening their lower-back muscles, resistance exercise has also proven helpful for people who have arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Enhancing Mental Health: Regular resistance exercise has been shown to improve depression, physical self-concept, fatigue, revitalization, tranquillity, tension, positive engagement, and overall mood disturbance among adults and older adults.
If you’re looking to start a strength training program, it’s important to keep in mind that even reasonable amounts of resistance exercise can make a big difference. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym each day to see results. Start with a program that includes 20 to 40 minutes of resistance exercise, two or three times per week, and increase the intensity and duration gradually over time.
In conclusion, regular strength training is a highly effective way to improve your overall health and well-being, regardless of your age. By engaging in resistance exercise for just a few hours each week, you can rebuild muscle, recharge your metabolism, reduce body fat, decrease physical discomfort, and improve mental health.
If you are new to strength training, it’s important to start your strength training journey with a professional who can guide you through the process and ensure that you’re doing the exercises safely and effectively.
At SPEAR we have a team of trained professionals who can provide you with the support and guidance you need to start your strength training journey and make progress towards a healthier, stronger, and more active life.
Meet our Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist’s who are highly experienced in strength and conditioning.
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