Strength training isn’t just for bodybuilders.
Incorporating this type of training into your exercise program provides many benefits to support healthy ageing.
Strength training, also known as weight or resistance training, involves exercises using your own bodyweight or equipment, like dumbbells, resistance bands, and weight machines, to build muscle mass, strength, and endurance.
The benefits of strength training are considerable and varied.
After the age of 60, on average 3% of muscle mass is lost every year.
Strength training can play a vital role in regaining these losses. Increasing muscle mass builds your strength and stamina to support you to engage in everyday activities from walking to climbing stairs, carrying shopping bags or doing housework.
As well as increasing muscle mass, strength training increases bone density, and can support the management of osteoporosis.
As you gain muscle, your body begins to burn calories more easily making it easier to control your weight.
Strengthening exercises can increase flexibility and balance, reducing falls and injuries.
There’s further evidence that strength training minimises the symptoms related to chronic health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, combats cognitive decline and improves your mental health.
What to consider when strength training
1. Check in with a health professional
Always check with a qualified health professional, such as your GP, before commencing any new exercise program. This is to ensure you can exercise safely without your new routine having adverse effects on your health.
2. Seek an individualised program
A physiotherapist or exercise physiologist (EP) can develop a strength program that is tailored to you and considers your personal goals, and current health, fitness, and strength.
A tailored program will give you confidence that the exercises you’re doing are safe and effective. Furthermore, you can choose to take part in group exercise classes or one-on-one sessions with an EP.
Having the experienced eye of an EP monitoring you will ensure you are exercising safely and correctly, to get the most out of your session.
3. Know your body
When exercising, stop if you feel pain, or you have difficulty breathing. Before you commence again, check with a health professional and they can review your program and modify as required.
4. Find ways to keep motivated
Finding the motivation to keep exercising can be challenging at times. Setting weekly goals, tracking your progress, and rewarding yourself when you achieve your milestones is an effective way to keep motivated.
Consider asking your friends to join you, so exercising is also a social occasion, or compiling a playlist of your favourite songs as music not only helps boost your endurance and exercise performance, but it can also help you fight off fatigue.
Exercise safely and achieve your personal goals
ACH Group has three health and wellness hubs located across metro Adelaide, with a team of Allied Health professionals to assist you to exercise safely and achieve your personal goals.
Specialised health and wellbeing programs combine exercise and education to promote independent living and positive health outcomes.