The Benefits of Resistance Training
Weights are no longer for the bodybuilding elite of the fitness world, they’re for your everyday guys and gals, too. Now, we know that most guys know the benefits of the gains game and women are catching onto this a little too. In this blog, we really want to emphasise how important it is for both sexes to commit to regular resistance training and try and stave away women’s fears about the practice, so read on for all the physical and mental benefits of incorporating this into your workout routine.
Cardio is great, don’t get us wrong. Please do cardio. Women, in particular, do a lot more cardio than guys; it’s amazing for cardiorespiratory function and is great for burning fat. Resistance training, however, it just as important, purely for aesthetic reasons it’s good to do both to get that ‘bikini bod’ everybody loves. Doing weights regularly isn’t just good for looking good, it is an extremely efficient way of improving your health in the long term. According to betterhealth.vic.gov.au some of these benefits can include;
- improved muscle strength and tone – to protect your joints from injury
- maintaining flexibility and balance, which can help you remain independent as you age
- weight management and increased muscle-to-fat ratio – as you gain muscle, your body burns more kilojoules when at rest
- may help reduce or prevent cognitive decline in older people
- greater stamina – as you grow stronger, you won’t get tired as easily
- prevention or control of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, back pain, depression and obesity
- pain management
- improved mobility and balance
- improved posture
- decreased risk of injury
- increased bone density and strength and reduced risk of osteoporosis
- improved sense of wellbeing – resistance training may boost your self-confidence, improve your body image and your mood
- a better night’s sleep and avoidance of insomnia
- increased self-esteem
- enhanced performance of everyday tasks.
So, now that we’ve ironed all of that out, how do you get started? Well, there are a few key rules for making sure you get the most out of strength training. When weight training, it’s best to target particular muscle groups at a time as opposed to doing all over body workouts. This gives your muscles a window of recovery time before you whip them back into pain. Anyone who’s hit the gym pretty hard knows what it’s like to not be able to move in the days afterwards so this just ensures that even if your legs are a bit wobbly, at least your arms and the rest of you are all good to go. Beyond this, you need to add variety to your weight training exercises as well as with weights, this allows your muscles to adapt and strengthen, making you stronger. When using weights, they need to be at a level that is kind of comfortable, to begin with, but by the end of each set of reps, you should be struggling. This takes some trial and error and will obviously fluctuate as you become stronger.
Also, you need to warm up before you start resistance training. This is pretty simple, just do some kind of aerobic exercise for 5-10 minutes before starting your reps and you should be good to go. While you’re at it, a little bit of light stretching never hurt anybody.
We’re going to cut the blog short here, we don’t want to overload you with information but we have included some handy links at the bottom of this page for further reading, we highly recommend it. There’s extensive research done about resistance training and even incorporating two 15-20 minute workouts per week will have you feeling the burn and reaping the health benefits so check them out!
For more health & fitness tips, advice, inspiration, products, and services; head along to the NZ Fitness & Health Expo on October 28-29 at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane. Tickets available now at www.nzfitnessexpo.co.nz