exercise, Age related illnesses | April 12, 2018 | Author: Naturopath
Have you ever heard of the phrase “move it or lose it”? Well this applies to our muscles—if you are physically inactive then your muscle mass can start to drop and lead to accelerated ageing. One of the most effective ways to maintain or increase muscle mass is by doing resistance exercises. Different forms of resistance training include free weights, weight machines and resistance bands. If you don’t have access to any “fancy” workout equipment—even using your own body weight is effective. These exercises increase muscle strength by making your muscles work against a weight.
Want to know what the benefits are? A faster metabolism, improved cognition and a decrease in body fat are only some of the amazing health benefits of regular resistance training.
Also referred to as strength or weight training, resistance training is a type of physical exercise which uses resistance to induce muscular contraction. This helps to build strength, anaerobic endurance, and the size of skeletal muscles.
It is recommended that you perform strength exercises at least two to three days per week to get results and allow for muscle recovery.
Sessions usually consist of repetitions (one complete motion of an exercise) and sets (a group of consecutive repetitions) which is then followed by a short break. How many sets you perform, and the intensity of the exercise will determine what kind of results you get. Because your muscles adapt, exercises should vary every 6-8 weeks to maintain improvement.
To reduce the risk of injury it is recommended that a warm up be performed before resistance training. 5-10 minutes of walking, cycling, rowing or any other light aerobic exercise stretches and warms the muscles getting them prepared for a workout.
Resistance training can be done anywhere—at the gym, park or home. The most common types of resistance exercise include:
Body weight—this is great option if you don’t have access to gym equipment and these exercises can be performed anywhere. Try lunges, squats, push-ups, tricep dips and sit-ups.
Free weights—a classic strength training tool which includes barbells and dumbbells.
Resistance bands—inexpensive lightweight tubing that provides resistance when stretched. They are incorporated into exercise to provide continuous resistance throughout a stretch.
Weight machines—these are often found at gyms or at home if you have invested in equipment. They usually have adjustable seats and weights which target specific muscle groups.The benefits of resistance exercise
When performed properly and regularly, resistance exercises provide significant functional benefits and an improvement in overall health and wellbeing. As we age our muscle fibres decline and from age 30 to age 70 we can loose more than 25% of the type 2 muscle fibres in our body. This is why maintaining or increasing muscle mass is important to reverse or prevent accelerated ageing.
Resistance exercise works by causing tiny microscopic tears or damage in your muscles which your body must quickly repair. This process results in muscle regeneration and stronger, larger muscles.
Importantly, your muscles heal and grow when you aren't working out, and so that's why it's necessary to leave time between workouts for recovery. A good rule of thumb is to rest the muscle group that has been worked out for 48 hours.
If you have any medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or arthritis you should get medical advice from your doctor before commencing an exercise program. A registered health professional can help tailor a program to your specific needs as well as helping you develop proper technique. This will enable the exercises are effective and reduces your risk of injury.
Also, be careful to listen to your body. If a strength training exercise causes pain, stop the exercise. Consider trying a lower weight or trying it again in a few days.
Remember, it’s never too late to start!
Day 1: Work your chest by doing push-ups or bench press with weights, followed by tricep dips using the coffee table and squats to work the muscles in the legs.
Day 2: Bicep curls using hand weights or bent-over rows using a barbell.
Day 3: To work the shoulders use lateral raises, followed by leg exercises (squats, leg press, or leg curl).
Work out the abs at each workout by doing ab crunch’s, planks or lie on your back with your legs in the air and pretend that you are riding a bike.
Resistance training is a great way to improve your overall wellbeing, build strength and give your metabolism a boost. Results can be achieved fast and it’s never too late to start.
Fiatarone Singh MA, et al. The Study of Mental and Resistance Training (SMART) study—resistance training and/or cognitive training in mild cognitive impairment: a randomized, double-blind, double-sham controlled trial. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2014 Dec;15(12):873-80