We’re all aware of the general effects of aging on the body: wrinkled skin, gray hair, dwindling health, and loss of strength and muscle. Although there is no magical elixir to stay young forever, there are ways of slowing down and even counteracting some of these effects. One of the most beneficial actions that we can take for our health is engaging in resistance training.
What Is Resistance Training?
Resistance training, more commonly known as strength training or weight training, is exercise that forces the muscle to contract against an external resistance in order to build strength, muscle and anaerobic endurance. The external resistance can come in the form of free weights, weight machines, medicine balls, resistance bands, and even your own body weight.
How Does It Work?
Resistance training works through catabolism and anabolism. Catabolism is the breakdown of muscle through microscopic tears and occurs while working out. Anabolism is the repair and growth of these muscle tissues. After catabolism occurs, the body quickly regenerates the muscles and grows them stronger. This in turn leads to increased strength and muscle mass. But the benefits of resistance training extend much further than simply being able to lift more or putting on lean muscle.
Benefits of Resistance Training on Aging
Maintaining Muscle Tissue
After the age of twenty, adults begin to lose 8-10% of their muscle tissue every decade. This is due to growth hormones dramatically decreasing in the body. The only way to prevent or reduce the rate of muscle loss is through resistance training.
Maintaining Bone Mass and Density
Resistance training increases bone mass and density. This can help protect against osteoporosis and decrease the risk of bone fractures due to aging.
Reducing the Risk of Stroke
Resistance training has been shown to minimize cardiovascular disease risk with as little as one hour per week of exercise. Strength training also has the ability to reduce resting blood pressure.
Musculoskeletal pain in the lower back or joints is common with age. By targeting specific muscle groups through resistance training, one can actually strengthen the muscles and tendons in the affected area to provide support and alleviate pain.
Lowering Body Fat
Increasing muscle density helps to speed up the metabolism. This means that building muscle can effectively burn more calories and maintain a lower body fat percentage.
Decreasing Risk of Injury
Resistance training not only improves muscle strength but it can also increase flexibility. This helps to better support the musculoskeletal system and make the body more resistant to injuries and falls in daily activities.
Helping You Stay Feeling Young
Aging is a natural part of life, there’s no changing that. But just because it’s a natural process, it doesn’t mean that we can’t take preventative measures, such as strength training, to slow down the negative effects of aging on our bodies. However, if you’re suffering from chronic pain or injuries beyond the healing capabilities of exercise, at BioCure we can provide non-invasive treatments to keep you feeling young.