The benefits of cardiovascular aerobic exercise for health and well-being are well established. Resistance training is commonly overlooked, but it has a wealth of unique benefits over aerobic exercise.
What is resistance training?
When resistance training is mentioned, many people would picture sweaty, grunting men lifting heavy weights in dark, damp gyms and get put off. Resistance training, however, does not need to be done at the gym, and can be performed at home using your own bodyweight or resistance bands.
What are the benefits of resistance training?
- It increases lean body mass, which is especially vital as we age due to the process of sarcopenia, where muscle mass and strength is gradually lost as we age. Improving muscle function maintains mobility and independence as we age.
- Reduces body fat, as muscle is an active tissue and has greater metabolic demands compared to adipose (fat), which is not an active tissue.
- Reduces the risk of metabolic dysfunction and improves metabolic control in type 2 diabetes.
- Reduces symptoms of back pain, joint pain and many other pain conditions.
- Improves the quality of sleep.
- Improves mental health (depression, anxiety etc).
- Reduces resting blood pressure.
- Improves cardiovascular health.
- Improves cognitive function and memory.
- Improves blood lipid profile (cholesterol).
- Increases bone mineral density.
- Improves balance, which reduces the risk of falls.
Resistance training should be considered an integral component, along with aerobic and flexibility training, in any exercise program designed to promote health in all populations.
If you want join our Pilates classes or if you need some guidance on how to start a resistance training program, please call us on (02) 92325566 or click here to schedule a consultation with one of our Bend + Mend Sports Physios in Sydney’s CBD.
Kovacevic A et al. 2018. The effect of resistance exercise on sleep: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Sleep Med Rev. 2018 Jun;39:52-68. Epub 2017 Jul 19.
Shaw et al. 2015. Resistance exercise is medicine: Strength training in health promotion and rehabilitation. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation 22(8):385-389
Strickland JC, Smith MA. 2014. The anxiolytic effects of resistance exercise. Front Psychol. 2014 Jul 10;5:753. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00753. eCollection 2014.