Did you know that women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men?
Building your muscle strength is one of the best ways to prevent osteoporosis and there are many other wonderful reasons why you should include strength/resistance training into your exercise routine.
Working on and maintaining strength has been an integral part of my fitness for nearly 20 years, and I have my Mum to thank for that. She taught me to always work on my strength as it will benefit me later in life, and she is right. She is a wonderful role model for me, is in her 60’s, and still as strong as ever. She looks and feels younger than her age and is full of energy.
From the age of 30, we start losing as much as 5% muscle mass per year. The great news is it is never too late to start building your strength. Did you know that strength training can even reverse the signs of weak bones? How incredible is that?
What is strength/resistance training?
Strength/resistance training is a form of exercise that involves making your muscles work against a weight or force. It can be several different exercises, including free weights, weight machines, resistance bands or even your own body weight.
Working on your strength will provide you with several health benefits, including:
❖ Prevent osteoporosis
Your muscles protect your bones. Building your muscle strength increases your bone density, preventing them from injury and brittle bones (osteoporosis) later in life.
❖ Slows down and reverses signs of ageing
Ageing causes loss of protein cells in the body over time. Research has shown that a program of progressive resistance training exercises can increase protein cells within the body, which in turn slows down the ageing process.
❖ Increases your energy
Strength training raises your levels of endorphins (the happy hormones) which serve in not only your mood, but they give you an increase in energy level as well. I find being stronger certainly helps me on a day-to-day basis, especially running around after my 2 boys who are so full of energy too!
❖ Increases your metabolism and burns fat
Strength training helps to boost your resting metabolism rate. In simple terms, this means you burn more calories during and after strength training exercise compared to aerobic activities.
❖ Fights heart disease
Alongside aerobic exercise, muscle strengthening helps to improve blood pressure levels and lower cholesterol levels, minimising the risk of heart disease.
❖ Improves your posture, balance and coordination
Strength training helps you to develop better body mechanics. The stronger your body is, the less likely you are to injure yourself. You will benefit from having stronger balance, better coordination, and improved posture.
❖ Gives you a strong body and a strong mind
A strong and healthy body means a strong and healthy mind. These two go hand in hand and will naturally result in increased confidence. Being stronger will give you more energy to go that little bit further, try new things, and be ready to tackle whatever comes your way (physically and mentally).
Doing resistance training 2-3 times a week alongside a healthy diet will give you lean, beautiful and strong muscles. You will not “bulk” up and you do not need a gym membership. There are a variety of exercises you can do in your own home which do not require expensive weights either, using your own body weight is enough.
It is never too late to start building on your strength; start small, aim high, and I promise you will notice the benefits. For me, having strength is an integral part of my health and well-being, and I hope I can encourage it to be part of yours too.
I am qualified in designing fitness programs for individuals, so if you are not sure how to start, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be more than happy to guide you.
I would love to hear how you keep your strength up, and any exercises tips you would like to share too, so please comment below.
Here is to a stronger body and mind.
Thank you for reading,