Benefits of Resistance Training Part 2 | Great Health Guide
Benefits of Resistance Training Part 2

Benefits of Resistance Training Part 2

Written by Carrick Dalton & Margarita Gurevich exercise physiologist & senior physiotherapist

Some of the benefits of resistance training were discussed in The Benefits of Resistance Training Part 1, showing how it can help to reduce abdominal fat and improve the body’s appearance. In this article Part 2, several other important features are discussed.

1. Reduces the risk of falls.

Falling over is something that many people might not often think about, but as we become older this is of the biggest risks of injury. Most people believe that balance is associated with the risk of having a fall however, strength plays a huge role in our ability to reduce the chance of that happening. If we have greater strength in our muscles throughout our body, especially our core muscles, then we are able to support our body, particularly during dynamic (moving) positions. As we age, we start to become more aware of our body’s limitations and potential frailness, and the risk of injury. By improving our strength we are able to decrease the likelihood of injuries occurring as a result of tripping and falling, while participating in various activities, or other activities in our day to day lives.

2. Increases spine & joint mobility.

Resistance training not only improves our muscle strength but also can help increase the mobility and the range of motion of our spine and joints. Muscular imbalances are common in most of us, even if we are unaware of it. We generally have a dominant side (i.e. left or right) and because of this it is important to maintain consistency and equilibrium between both sides of our body. Not only that, but our joints are better supported when surrounded by stronger muscular tissue which can help prevent injuries even in something as common as rolling our ankle.

3. Improves cardiovascular function.

Our heart is the hardest working muscle in the body. Did you know that on average it contracts and relaxes around 100,000 times a day? Resistance training helps to strengthen the heart muscles and thus improve our cardiovascular function. This is essential to maintain vital body processes such as blood pressure, peripheral circulation, cholesterol level and many other aspects in a healthy body.

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4. Decreases risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is one of the most prevalent conditions in today’s society, however, this can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle such as exercise regimes where strength training is involved. It does this through improving our insulin sensitivity and correspondingly reducing blood sugar levels which decreases the likelihood of becoming diabetic. This also helps those who are diabetic by stabilizing their blood glucose levels.

5. Effects on brain, mood & cognitive decline.

Resistance training can also benefit the mind. We’re all aware that sometimes we are prone to having off days and feeling down in the dumps but exercise and resistance training can help boost our self-esteem and mood. These are critical aspects that help us function and move through the days, particularly the hard ones. It also improves our sense of body image, social anxiety and other cognitive (psychological) limitations. Resistance training does help slow down cognitive decline and the potential for brain health deterioration which is especially important as we age.

There are many health benefits associated with incorporating resistance training into exercise regimes which can actually help improve our quality of life not only now, but in the future. Even if you are not a fan of ‘lifting weights’, incorporating this into your current exercise regimes, will only result in further benefits and positive outcomes.

Author of this article:

Exercise Physiologist Carrick Dalton has a keen passion for the body and its functions and is  continually looking for ways to increase his knowledge and skill base for the rehabilitation, and prevention of, injuries and conditions. Carrick has previous experience working with various sporting teams including Melbourne United in the NBL.
Margarita Gurevich is senior physiotherapist and uses Clinical Pilates, SCENAR Therapy  other evidence-based techniques, including Real Time Ultrasound and McKenzie Treatment. Margarita specialises in sports injuries, women’s health (including incontinence) and gastrointestinal issues. Carrick & Margarita may be contacted at Health Point Physiotherapy website.

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