Staying fit and healthy is important for one’s health, as it avoids the risk of falling sick or having any other health complications. Ideally, a proper fitness regime should include cardio and resistance training, as each type helps build strength, endurance, flexibility and balance. Although ,aerobic exercises are commonly practiced for maintaining weight and improving cardiovascular capacity, strength training offers benefits of weight loss.
What is resistance training?
Also known as strength training exercise is effective in improving individual health. Resistance training are exercises for your muscles that work against an additional force or weight. It means building muscles using resistance, along with free weights eg dumbbells or machines.
Two types of resistance training
Isotonic exercise - Involvement of any type of muscle group ( legs, arms, stomach , back etc.) against any type of resistance eg, lifting dumbbells, resistance bands or body weight exercises including push ups and sit ups.
Isometric exercise - The muscle group is held in place against the resistance and doesn’t involve movement of the joint. Eg plank holds, wall sits etc.
Strength training provides you with the following benefits :-
Muscle mass declines between 3% to 8% after the age of 30. Our skeletal muscle make up for approximately 40% of total body weight and influences a number of metabolic risk factors as muscle tissue is the primary site for glucose and triglyceride disposal. Any loss of muscle mass increases the risk of glucose intolerance associated with health issues.
- Increased strength of bones and density, specially required in old age
- Improves strength of tendons and ligaments (connective tissues).
- Help increase muscle mass, strength and endurance.
- Enhances metabolism
- Helps lower body weight
May improve Cardiovascular health
If one is recovering from a heart attack, then as per AHA (American Heart Association) 2014, it is suggested that physical activity and exercise can help improve one’s overall strength. It helps reduce resting blood pressure , decrease LDL or bad cholesterol am increase HDL levels.
May assist in management of Diabetes type 2
It helps in reducing HbA1C , which results in improvement of insulin sensitivity and decreases visceral fat.
Recharges your Resting Metabolism
Since it increases the muscle protein turnover, which necessitates more energy for maintenance of muscle tissue. A 1kg increase in trained muscle tissue may raise resting metabolic rate by approximately 20 cal/day. Boost in metabolic rate leads to weight loss as well.
The aim should be to exercise each muscle group at least twice a week, with at least two days of rest in between workouts.Although, the frequency, intensity and repetitions of resistance exercise may vary depending upon the individuals’s fitness regime and age group.
To sum up, resistance training is effective in enhancing many aspects of physical health such as increase in metabolic rate, better muscular strength, and reduction in weight which helps improve overall health and medical issues such as diabetes, heart problems, age related concerns.
H.Nobuko et al, 2015. Resistance Training. College of agriculture and life sciences.
Wayne L. Westcott, 2012. Resistance Training is Medicine: Effects of Strength Training on Health.www.acsm-csmr.org