For many, weight training reminds them of bodybuilders pumping iron in pursuit of beefy biceps and bulging pecs. But experts say it’s long overdue to discard those antiquated notions of what resistance training can do for your physique and health. Modern exercise science has shown that working with weights whether it’s a lightweight dumbbell or your own body may be the best exercise for lifelong physical function and fitness. Body-weight training is the most universal type of exercise. It’s simple, efficient, and accessible, also, everybody has a body.
Resistance training is the most important form of training for general health and wellness. A lot of people think of weight training as an exercise that augments muscle size and strength, which is somewhat true. But the “load” that this form of exercise puts on bones and their supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments is probably a bigger deal when it comes to health and physical function.
When you’re young, bone reabsorption is balanced and is sometimes exceeded by new bone tissue generation. But later on in life, bone tissue losses acceleration and surpasses the creation of new bones. That acceleration is especially pronounced among people who are inactive and women who have reached or passed menopause. This loss of bone tissue leads to the weakness and postural problems that many older adults are victims of.
Resistance training defeats all those bone losses and postural deficits. Through a procedure known as bone remodeling, strength training stimulates the growth of bone osteoblasts which are the cells that build bones back up. While you can gain some of these bone benefits through aerobic exercise, especially in your lower body, resistance training is genuinely the most efficient way to maintain and enhance total-body bone strength.
Strength training is also a potent antidote to inflammation, a major risk factor for heart diseases and other conditions. A study linked regular resistance training with inflammation-quelling shifts in the body’s levels of cytokines, a type of immune system protein. Another study found that when overweight women did weekly resistance training sessions, they had a significant drop in several markers of inflammation.
Strength training improves focus and cognitive function, better balance, less anxiety, and greater well-being.
It was believed that you needed to lift heavy loads in order to build muscle and achieve a lot of these benefits which isn’t true. Lifting until your muscles are near the point of giving up is the real key, regardless of how much weight you’re using. This is a huge boon to adhere because many older adults or those with injuries or joint issues cannot pick up heavy loads.
When we add strength almost every health outcome is better. Earlier strength training was thought of something for athletes but now it is recognized as a seminal part of general health and well-being at all ages. In addition to building muscle, strength training also betters the muscle's ability to take in the glucose and improves the blood sugar level.
- If you are a beginner who is in awe of the gym, bodyweight training is what you should start with. If you already have some strength training experience and you don't have a whole lot of time, it may be best to use free weights. To use your body weight in strength training exercises, do exercises like squats, lunges, abdominal crunches, pushups, pullups or step-ups. Keep the movements smooth and controlled. Strengthen the opposing muscles, like the chest and back muscles, and strive for muscle balance.
- Find a program and stick to it. Pick a program that you like and stick to it. It's essential to stick to one strength training program and this is especially true with bodyweight exercises where progressions may add an additional layer of difficulty. Don't venture off on your own till you know what you're doing.
A lot of different kinds of body weight exercises can be performed to work all of the major muscle groups. And bodyweight exercises can be done anywhere, no extra equipment, at no extra cost, is required. Always remember to use proper form and technique throughout each bodyweight exercise in order to get the most advantage and avoid injury. Also keep in mind to take at least one day off between exercising each specific muscle group, in order to give your muscles enough time to get better.