Do you want to lose some weight, get stronger and burn more calories? Maybe you just want to get more toned and improve your endurance? Well, resistance training does all that and more. It should be considered as a key component in an exercise routine.
Any exercise that uses resistance to make the movement harder qualifies as resistance training. That resistance can be provided by weights, exercise bands, gravity or even your own body weight. Examples of resistance training exercises include bicep curls with hand weights, push-ups and leg squats.
This type of training works by causing microscopic damage to the muscle cells. That damage stimulates the body’s repair response. Nutrients flow to the muscle cells to repair the microtears and that process causes muscle fibers to enlarge.
Resistance training is particularly important for older people. We lose approximately 5 pounds of muscle every decade after 30. Also, the number of muscle fibers declines with age; between the ages of 30 and 70, we can lose more than 25% of the type 2 fibers (those are our “strength fibers”). Resistance training can slow down that process by building muscle mass. Resistance training has also been shown to build new bone tissue so it can reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
If you don’t already incorporate resistance training in your exercise routine, now is the time to consider it. Before you know it, you’ll be reaping the benefits of a stronger, healthier body.