Updated: Feb 23
Whether you’re interested in reducing body fat, increasing lean muscle mass, or becoming fitter - strength training should be at the top of your list.
Strength training is also known as weight training or resistance training. It can involve anything from your own body weight, to kettlebells, resistance bands or barbells.
Why is it so important?
Sarcopenia is as an age related, involuntary, loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength. In other words, muscle mass diminishes with age – so if you don’t use the muscle, you will lose it. This is the same muscle we need to carry out our daily lives pain free, easily and independently.
Strength training promotes gaining muscle mass and strength, which reduces the effects of age-related sarcopenia. The older we get, placing an emphasis on keeping as much muscle mass as possible becomes vitally important.
Additional major benefits of strength training:
Develop strength in bones:
By creating a stress stimulus on your bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Changes in body-composition:
Strength training often leads to changes in body-shape. This is due to the production of muscle mass and reduction in body-fat. Approached correctly, strength training can enhance certain features of your choice.
Managing your body weight:
Strength training can help you manage or lose weight, and it can increase your metabolism to assist in burning more calories when you are resting.
Assist in health-related issues:
Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, such as arthritis, back pain, obesity, heart disease, depression, and diabetes.
Improve quality of life:
Strength training may enhance your quality of life and improve your ability to do everyday activities. It can help protect your joints from injury. And building muscle can also contribute to better balance and may reduce your risk of falls. This can help you maintain independence as you age.
Starting strength training
You don’t need to be fit or strong to start strength training – that’s the beauty of it.
You can start by implementing it into your week - two or three 20 to 30 minute sessions – where you will see improvements in as little as 2-3 weeks.
As you continue with strength training exercises, you will notice continuous improvement in your strength over time. As your muscle mass increases, you will be able to lift more weight easily and for longer periods of time.