Human Nature makes us curious to explore something new, something niche, something expensive or just plain easy to solve our problems. For this reason, the obvious is often over-looked. So despite the catchy heading, ‘simple’ weight-training or ‘lifting iron’ is an age old remedy that has a new-age list of benefits.
When we think of weight training we typically associate it with muscular athletes in particular body-builders. There is no doubt that lifting does make you stronger, fitter and well toned in the athletic population but the benefits for the broader population are understated.
Some of the many benefits of weight training include:
- Strength gains throughout life
- Helps maintain weight loss and increases metabolism
o Also increases lean muscle mass
- Helps protect bone and muscle mass
o Each year after puberty we lose about 1% of bone and muscle mass per year
- Reducing risk of falls by up to 40%
o Improves balance & coordination
- Aids to prevent diseases:
o Reduces risk of arthritis and improves function/ reduces symptoms
o Improves bone density
o Assists glucose control in type 2 diabetes
- Boosts energy levels and mood
o Increases endorphin levels
o Improves sleep quality
Lifting weights has been shown to help prevent bone conditions such as osteoporosis and osteopenia by reducing fractures and strengthening bone density. In fact, research has shown that strength training for one year can help prevent bone loss and even help build new bone.
So as we are becoming an ageing population we have to shift our paradigm of how we exercise as we age. Exercise that benefits our ageing doesn’t have to be, nor should it be something that is fancy or exclusive such as a magic pill, special exercise device or a gimmicky plan. It does however, require us to continue to train into our maturity like an athlete as the benefits are the same when we age only they might have even more positive consequences.
The only requirement of exercising when we age is that is done under good instruction by a qualified health professional. We understand the processes of aging and can offer feedback specific to you. I have attached a nice video clip of how healthy lifting under instruction has already taken place in Queensland (Channel 7 News, 2016), with excellent outcomes.
We at Grand Slam Physiotherapy want to help you as you age. We are leaders in Sports Physiotherapy, Innovative and There for you. Please call (03) 5277 2151 to book an appointment today.