Strength training has tremendous benefits. Recent research shows that strength training can help fend off depression and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. It can also improve your balance, cognitive abilities, self-esteem, joint flexibility, weight control, and bone density.
The medical definition of strength training, is a system of physical conditioning in which muscles are exercised by being worked against an opposing force (as by lifting weights) to increase strength.
A 15-year cohort study showed that strength training is linked to living longer and improving our quality of life. Our strength is what gets us through daily tasks such as carrying groceries, house work, and gardening.
Improved strength also decreases the risk of falling and other related injuries. Not to mention, our bodies become more resistant to injuries, and general aches and pains.
As we age, our growth hormones dramatically decrease. Physically inactive adults lose anywhere from 3% to 5% muscle mass every decade after 30. This means that by the time we are 80, we can lose up to half of our muscle mass!
Adults should aim to do moderate or intense muscle-strengthening workouts that target all muscle groups two days per week for 20 to 30 minutes. Start off with light weight and gradually increase.
Strength training is for all ages. It’s never too late to start, but it’s important to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
It’s also important to learn the proper form for each exercise. If you’re new to the strength training world, working with a personal trainer would be a great start!