Resistance training or strength training is feared by a lot of people, women in particular. For the most part, this fear comes from a misunderstanding of what resistance training actually is, and what the health benefits are.
Resistance training is when muscles have to work to overcome a resistant force. Note, this resistance doesn't necessarily mean a huge amount of weight plates, it could simply be your own bodyweight.
Different types of resistance training include:
- free weights - such as dumbbells or barbells
- weight machines - when instructed correctly by a training professional
- resistance bands - portable and can be used for a variety of rehabilitation exercises
- your own body weight - can be used for squats, lunges, push-ups and pull-ups. Using your own body weight is convenient, when travelling or at home.
The Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommend that adults do muscle strengthening activities at least twice a week. When you combine this training with aerobic exercise you will have a well-rounded program which will deliver many mental and physical health benefits including:
- Improved muscle strength & tone
- Improved flexibility and balance
- Increased muscles to fat ratio (improved metabolism)
- Prevention or control of chronic conditions such as: diabetes, heart disease, arthritis & back pain
- Improved mobility in joints
- Increased bone density & reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Decreased risk of insomnia
- Enhanced performance of everyday tasks
*Before doing any strength or resistance training, it is important to warm up the muscles to prevent injury. A great way to do this is with 5-10mins of light cardio (treadmill, rower, bike, cross trainer) before your session. To optimise results, complete a full body stretch after training.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.