As seen in the Mildura Weekly 2013
The advantages of strength training are invaluable for individuals of all ages and genders. Only when done properly that is. Strength and resistance training can come in many forms, most commonly lifting weights or bodyweight exercises. If your current understanding is that resistance exercises are only for males and body builders, scrap that mentality because here’s why we should all get our tush in the gym, park or working out with a friend to do some serious strength training…
Older men and women
Functional fitness such as bodyweight exercises including squats, push ups and lunges can help prevent arthritis, fractures, and osteoporosis by increasing muscle mass and bone density. It can help to prevent falls through gaining better balance and core strength. Sleep quality is also improved along with cardiovascular health.
The risk of depression is dramatically reduced due to the natural release of endorphins and the biochemical changes in the brain. The perception that dramatic loss of muscle mass should occur in sync with ageing is a common disbelief, only slight loss is expected. Furthermore, strengthening your muscles can help make everyday activities such as household chores and gardening be done with ease.
All of the above, and it increases athletic performance, and enhances strength. It improves posture when exerted correctly and you will also be less susceptible to injury, back pain and arthritis due to the strengthening of muscles, joints and connective tissue. Importantly, it also increases longevity (muscle mass is considered a reliable marker of longevity).
Females in particular
Women will lose body fat not muscle, resulting in a toned look, and definitely not a ‘bulky’ look which is a widespread belief. Plus, the more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn even at rest. Every kilogram of muscle you gain, you burn an extra 100 calories a day. Moreover, resistance training naturally helps to balance hormone levels and can be a great stress buster.
Each individuals goals may vary, so therefore I advocate doing resistance training a certain amount of days according to each person’s goal. Also, ensure you have a good trainer who can ensure you are using good technique.