Resistance Training – what’s it all about? Is it for me?

resistance exercise

Why Resistance Training is Good for You

Resistance training is exercise which will improve muscular fitness by exercising a specific muscle or muscle group against resistance.

Resistance training makes you stronger and fitter, benefits your heart, strengthens your bones, improves your balance and helps you to lose weight. Who wouldn’t want to look and feel better, and live a longer, healthier life? What’s not to love?

Resistance training is great for building muscle and dropping body fat. Muscle strength is essential in making ordinary day to day tasks easier. We naturally start to lose muscle mass as we get older and resistance training is necessary for maintaining strength and muscle tone. According to a study published in the ‘Journal of Bone and Mineral Research’ in October 2017, ‘just 30 minutes twice a week of high intensity resistance and impact training was shown to improve functional performance, as well as bone density, structure and strength in postmenopausal women with low bone mass and it had no negative effects’.

The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn, even when you’re not exercising. When you exercise with resistance you overload the muscle causing tiny tears in the muscle fibres. Your body repairs these tears after your workout through a cellular process where the muscle fibres fuse together to form new muscle protein (myofibrils). These fused muscle fibres increase in thickness to create stronger muscles.

It is also excellent at keeping lost weight off for good. Cardio exercise such as running, cycling etc is known for increasing the number of calories you burn in a day, but resistance training is just as important. You might not burn as many calories through resistance training, but it helps to increase your resting metabolism which is the rate at which your body burns calories throughout the day, after you’ve finished your workout. A study published in the journal ‘Obesity’ found that ‘compared with dieters who didn’t exercise and those who did only aerobic exercise, dieters who did strength training exercise four times a week for 18 months lost the most fat (about 18 pounds compared with 10 pounds for non-exercisers).

Resistance training helps with balance and co-ordination as well as posture. The stronger your muscles, the better balance you will have as balance is dependent on the strength of your muscles.

It is also effective in helping people with chronic diseases manage their symptoms eg, arthritis sufferers can benefit from resistance training and this can be as effective as medication in relieving arthritis pain. People with diabetes can help improve glucose control using resistance training along with other healthy lifestyle choices.

And finally, resistance training exercise raises the level of endorphins in the brain, raising energy levels, improving mood and promoting better sleep.

Love your resistance training workout!