In part one of our series on resistance training we learnt how it develops muscular strength and endurance, muscle mass and power through resisted muscular contraction. These components of fitness are at play at every moment in our daily lives and are key considerations as we get older, especially if we plan to live with energy and vitality.
Strength and Function
Resistance training has been demonstrated to reduce the occurrence of sarcopenia, which is the age-associated decrease of skeletal muscle mass. Decreases in strength with age are related to decreased mobility and functionality, the corollary being a high risk of falling in older people (1989). Falls of this kind can lead to injuries which have been identified as significant factors for mortality in the elderly (Fife et al., 1984). Studies have proven (1996) that specific improvements to muscular strength can enhance one’s health by reducing the risk of injuries and improvement of balance, coordination and agility.
Bone Mineral Density
As we age our bone mineral density decreases. It happens to some people faster than others, and can lead to osteoporosis (honeycombing of the internal bone structure) and a higher risk of fractures. Maintaining physical activity is fundamental as we age, so immobility or health problems resulting from injury can lead to greater weakness. Resistance training has been shown to increase bone mineral density, and can therefore combat all of these issues.
A Strong Back Knows No Pain
Low back pain and spinal disorders are two of the most common reasons for lower performance in the workplace. Loss of lumbar strength is often the result of low back pain and dysfunction. Evidence suggests that lumbar extension exercises performed as part of a balanced training program can, over time, decrease low back and leg pain and increase low back strength.
Nutrition and Resistance Training
We should never underestimate the power of healthy, balanced nutrition, because it is of key importance when looking for optimal results from your training. This can be achieved through consuming an adequate number of calories, the correct balance of macronutrients and plentiful hydration. Each component of nutrition will assist your training, recovery and results. Sensible nutrition can yield wonderful results when using strength training, so choose to fuel your body with wholesome nutritious foods for effective sessions and lasting health.
Interesting UK Health Statistics 2019
Our population is around 20% less active than in the 1960s and, if the current trend continues, we will be 35% less active by 2030. Between 2015 and 2017 the NHS reported an increase of 18% in hospital admissions where obesity was recorded as a factor, and between 2017 and 2019 that percentage has risen by another 15%. 29% of adults are classified as obese, with 10,660 hospital admissions so far this year which are directly attributable to obesity. Only 18% of children consume five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Resistance training confirms to have various positive effects on the health. Therefore, it can serve as a main source for improving the quality of life and athletic performance in various activities. It is beneficial for one’s training routine and identified as a dynamic way to challenge your body.
Vladimira is a dedicated Fitness Instructor, awaiting her final Personal Training examination. Passionate about sports and fitness from a young age, she competed at academy level in volleyball and athletics. Vladimira takes a total-body approach to exercise with teaching centred on correct technique, mindful movement, and awareness of posture. Vladi enjoys coaching people into a mindset where healthy nutrition and an active, playful lifestyle are key ingredients. She is an avid cook and passionate writer.