There is an ongoing debate about what the best type of exercise is for overall health. The answer is variable based on the individual, however strength training should be included and prioritized in the majority of peoples exercise routines.
So what is strength training? Many times we think of powerlifters or weightlifters when we think of resistance training. It really depends on the individual’s level of conditioning. For some it may be getting up from a chair repetitively and others it is squatting with 2x greater than their body weight on their back. The activity must be challenging enough to cause adaptations in strength and should be progressively loaded or modified to increase intensity as adaptations occur.
There are many benefits of weight training. Some more obvious benefits include increased muscle strength, increasing lean body mass and limiting loss of muscle mass with aging. Lesser known benefits include improved strength of ligaments and bones, increased walking speed and functional independence, improved cognitive abilities and self-esteem. It also can enhance cardiovascular health and help manage Type 2 Diabetes.
Other benefits of strength training include reduced injury risk with sport and increased flexibility if properly programmed. Strength training can be used to help us to continually improve our movement to build resilience in life to allow us to continue to participate in activities that we love for as long as possible. I incorporate strength training with all my clients when appropriate as it is effective for reducing musculoskeletal pain and easing discomfort associated with arthritis and other conditions. It is also very beneficial in increasing confidence in those with chronic pain or recovering from injury.
Not sure where to start? We should all aim to strength train 2-3x per week. Begin with training basic movement patterns including the squat, hinging, push, press and lunge variations within your training.
Do you feel stuck with your fitness level by recurring pain or limited mobility? Reach out to me and we can discuss how to get you moving and feeling better with a comprehensive and individualized program to meet your goals.