Women doing resistance exercise
Exercise,  Rants

Resistance exercise as physical activity’s gateway to health?This article is a 2 min read

I was on my twitter timeline and read a tweet by the American College of Sports Medicine that showed a picture of a presentation being done about resistance exercise and a slide that gave the quote below:

Exercise is Medicine and resistance training
Exercise is Medicine and resistance training

You can see the tweet at the end of this commentary. The more I thought about it I realized that many young people (athletes and nonathletes) got an introduction to weight training as one of their first exercise experiences. I know this was true for me. I spent much of my youth engaged in weight training in some way whether in organized sports or in my parent’s garage. Unfortunately, this is true more for males than females. That’s too bad because women’s muscle quality is the same as men and they can achieve relatively-equal benefits. The great thing is that I see women actively involved in weight training today!

Is resistance training second to aerobics?

I won’t deny it there’s a huge body of research that supports you being active doing things like walking, cycling, jogging, and swimming for example. These are aerobic activities. From improved heart health, lower cancer risk to living longer and much more. However, resistance exercise (which is more comprehensive than weight training) also provides significant health benefits and for many people, they find this very enjoyable and rewarding. In fact, many of the patients I’ve worked with when introduced to resistance exercise reported a significant increase in the satisfaction of their exercise program. This is probably due to the benefits that resistance exercise offers that aerobic training doesn’t.

Some of the benefits of resistanceย  exercise are listed below:

  • Improving muscular fitness (muscular strength, muscular endurance, muscular power)
  • Increasing muscle mass
  • Improves athletic performance
  • Blunting age-related declines in muscle mass
  • Improves bone health
  • Improved blood pressure
  • Lessens skeletal muscle dysfunction
  • Improves walking ability and balance
  • May reduce the risk of falls
  • Improved self-esteem and confidence
  • Corrects postural problems

The specific exercise recommendations for resistance exercise vary based on issues such as goals, age, fitness, health status, and personal preferences. That’s beyond the scope of this writing, but if you want to get started contact a local personal trainer and talk with your health care provider.

Happy lifting.

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