Resistance training, also known as strength training, is a series of exercises that focus on developing your strength and endurance, typically through using weights. The training can also help improve your physique, making you look and feel younger.
However, its health benefits go deeper than making you stronger and enhancing your appearance. Let us look further into what resistance training is and why it is important for your health.
How does Resistance Training Benefit Your Health?
In a 2007 study published by PLoS One, researchers found that resistance or strength training slows down or even reverses the aging process to genetic levels, particularly in the skeletomuscular system. This results in increased bone density, connective tissue strength, and better joint mobility. Resistance training also helps to:
Improve and Maintain Muscle Mass
One of the most common problems associated with aging is muscle loss or atrophy. However, because resistance training has shown to slow the aging process, it would also promote muscle mass growth and strength. This provides better support for your joints, improves body posture, and reduces your chances of being injured in an accident.
Enhance Cardiovascular Health
While aerobic training is still highly effective for boosting cardiovascular health, resistance training also stimulates your heart, thus helping improve its health. It can also help regulate inflammation and metabolism, reducing the risk of obesity and cardiac diseases.
Boost Mental Health
Besides physical health, aging also affects various aspects of mental health, such as memory, impulse control, and information processing. However, like other exercises, resistance training can also help boost your cognitive functions.
Moreover, it can also improve your ability to handle stress. Chronic stress exposure can quickly age all your cells if dealt with poorly. With improved mental functions and healthier responses to stress, you could eventually improve your quality of life.
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What Equipment do You Use in Resistance Training?
Resistance training involves exercises you can do at home or the gym. So long as they involve making your muscles contract against an external force, you can use whatever tools are on hand. Some types of equipment include:
- Yourself: Exercises such as calisthenics generally use your own body as the external resistance, as opposed to exercises that use weights. Some exercises you can do without tools include sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, and squats.
- Resistance Bands: These are large rubber bands you can use along with other workouts to create extra resistance. For instance, you could use a band to make your push-ups harder to do. The bands can have different resistance levels to give you varying degrees of difficulty.
- Free Weights: These refer to the conventional equipment used for weightlifting, such as kettlebells, barbells, and dumbbells.
- Weight Machines: These use hydraulics or parts like wheels, pulleys, levers, and weights to create resistance. While convenient to use, the range of motions you can do per machine is limited compared to free weights. However, their designs also help ensure you perform the exercises safely.
How Much Resistance Training Should Older Adults Do?
While older adults can benefit from the anti-aging and strength-building properties of resistance exercises, the amount of training they can do depends on the individual. Factors such as the adult’s strength and fitness level affect how many reps they can do, how much weight they can carry, and how often they can do the workout program in a day or week.
Can You Do Both Resistance and Aerobic Training Together?
Yes, you could have a workout plan with resistance and aerobic training exercises. This can prove beneficial if you want to improve your muscle mass, strength, stamina, and heart health.
However, it would be safer to consult with a physician before starting a new training program. They can assess your current condition to see what exercises you can do safely, for now, while still maximizing the health and anti-aging benefits that come with these workouts.
Do note that these exercises, while highly beneficial for your long-term health and wellness, are not the only things you should do to be truly healthy. You also must consider other factors such as your food intake and your lifestyle as a whole.
Take a Step Towards Better Health and Longevity
At Anti-Aging & Regenerative Associates, we understand the road to better overall health and graceful aging involves working on various aspects, such as your exercise routine and nutritional needs. That is why our physicians do not focus on prescribing medications. Instead, we evaluate your health status to develop a personalized health plan. These can include resistance training regimen recommendations.
For more details on our anti-aging and regenerative services, do not hesitate to call us anytime. You can also schedule an appointment online by messaging us on the website.