Why Should I Add Weight Training to My Routine?
When we think of weight training we often think of bodybuilding, but resistance training is also a form of weight training. It simply means there is a resistance that our bodies must work against. This can improve strength, mobility and more!
You may not call yourself a body builder, but you could be missing out if you’re not including weight training in your routine.
Here are 5 benefits of adding weight training to your exercise routine.
It’s true what they say, if we don’t use it, we lose it!
Many of the common struggles as we grow older are caused by the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength, more technically known as sarcopenia.
For most of us, muscle mass and strength increase from birth and hit their peak around age 30-35. Studies have shown that there is a natural decline in power and performance after this, and then an increased decline after 65-70 years of age.
What’s particularly interesting is this decline can be slowed somewhat by maintaining an active lifestyle and strength training.
Even more interesting is that it’s never too late to start.
Another study found that progressive resistance training at sufficient loads can induce dramatic and substantial increases in muscle strength, size and function in men and women up to 96 years of age!
It makes you stronger
As soon as you start a strength training programme, you’ll notice that everyday chores are much easier.
When we challenge a muscle, tiny tears occur. The body repairs it, and the muscle gets bigger and stronger in response. Don’t worry about weightlifting making you bulky – ask anyone who has consciously tried to bulk – it’s not as easy as we think.
Improved bone health
Strength training is a good way to maintain healthy tendons and ligaments and promote dense bones.
One particular study showed that volunteers who wore a weighted vest as they participated in a weight loss plan slowed down hip bone-density loss compared to the weight-loss-plan-only group. The researchers concluded that finding different ways to load and challenge the skeleton could reduce the risk of hip fractures, a common and often debilitating injury for older adults.
Helps tackle obesity
Muscles are more active than fatty tissue – so the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn as a baseline.
A year long exercise training intervention known as the Lifestyle Intervention to Improve Bone Quality (LIMB-Q) found that a healthier diet combined with a workout mixing aerobic exercise, resistance training and balance was most effective for helping reversing obesity as opposed to diet alone.
A 2020 study found that adults who engage in aerobic and muscle strengthening activities show a greatly reduced risk of all cause and cause specific mortality.
If you are thinking about adding weight training into your routine, remember that form is key! Lift weights safely and think about the muscles that you are using to control and move the weight.
We have a number of programmes to get you started, so check them out.