Do you think that strength training isn’t suitable for you? Find out why it is an essential part of an exercise plan for everybody.
Strength training is not just for body builders; as well as building strength it can help burn calories, reduce body fat, improve tone and lean muscle mass, and increase overall wellbeing.
How does strength training help weight management?
Lean muscle mass reduces with age, and fat can take its place if you don’t strengthen your muscles. Building muscle indirectly increases your metabolism as muscle burns a higher percentage of calories than fat, even at rest.
Develop strong bones
Many of us don’t know that strong muscles lead to strong bones. The pulling and pushing on bone from strength training and other weight bearing exercise puts stress on the bone which responds by building new cells. Strong bones can help reduce your risk of osteoporosis, and strong muscles can improve balance and stability, therefore lessening the risk of injury from falling.
Help with chronic conditions
Strength training can also help reduce the symptoms of many conditions such as back pain, arthritis, depression and diabetes. Being stronger can increase your energy and improve your ability to do everyday activities which can help keep you mobile and independent.
Do I have to go to the gym and lift weights?
Strength training isn’t all about lifting weights at the gym. Although free weights and weight machines are commonly used, you can also use resistance bands and balls, and your own body weight. Leg squats, pull-ups, push-ups, yoga, and Pilates are all low impact activities that use bodyweight resistance, and can be performed easily at home.
How do I start?
Before you get started, make sure that strength training is right for you. Check with your doctor if you’re over 40, have a chronic condition, or if it has been some time since you exercised.
It is advisable to work with an exercise professional to help you choose the right level and weight, and to learn the correct training techniques. It’s also important to warm up beforehand and have rest days in between workouts.
Strength training doesn’t require hours of weight lifting every day; with a balanced and regular routine you will see improvement in your strength, muscle mass and overall health. See your chiropractor for advice on strength training options for you, and how to lower the risk of injury.
This article originally appeared in the September/ October edition of your chiropractor. Come in to our Melbourne CBD chiropractic practice to claim your copy today.