The weakness and loss of energy we associate with getting older, such as difficulty walking distances, climbing stairs, or carrying groceries, are largely due to muscle tissue loss. This muscle loss, for the most part, is from living an inactive lifestyle.
Without muscle strength, simple tasks like getting out of the bathtub or a chair, carrying groceries or even doing basic household chores becomes challenging.
The old saying is true when it comes to muscle strength:
The human body is a “Use it or lose it” machine.
What is Strength training exercise?
Strength training is exercise that uses resistance – and involves the use of barbells, dumbbells, machines and other equipment to improve strength, keep your body and its systems healthy, overall fitness, appearance and/or sports performance.
Although strength training is sometimes known as resistance training or weight training it should not be confused with competitive sports like weightlifting, powerlifting or bodybuilding.
The basic premise of strength training is to make muscles, bones and tendons work harder than they are accustomed to working in everyday activities. This stimulates the body to increase its strength to meet the demands being placed on it.
Strength training provides an array of benefits that cannot be achieved by any other exercise or activity enabling you to work your muscles progressively harder as your strength increases.
Strength training for Longevity:
Strength training exhibits anti-aging effects. In fact, it is the most important exercise component of any anti- aging program.
It stimulates the body to produce growth hormone also known as HGH (human growth hormone), a hormone that has been shown to reverse the aging process and rejuvenate and renew old worn-out cells and tissue.
Strength training exercises are just for those in perfect health. They are safe and effective for women and men of all ages, including those who are not in perfect health. In fact, people with health concerns – such as arthritis or heart disease – often benefit the most from an exercise program that includes strength training a few times each week.
Strength training reduces the risk of disease:
Arthritis – Reduces pain and stiffness and increases strength and flexibility.
Diabetes – The more muscle tissue you have the lower your risk for diabetes. If you do
have diabetes, extra muscle allows for better control of blood sugar.
Osteoporosis – Builds bone density and reduces risk for falls.
Heart disease – Reduces cardiovascular risk by improving lipid profile (blood fats) and
overall heart/lung fitness.
Obesity – Increases metabolism (your bodies engine), which helps burn more calories
every minute of the day and night and helps with long-term weight control.
Back pain – Strengthens back and abdominal muscles to reduce stress on the spine.
When combined with cardiovascular (heart/lung) exercise, strength training benefits include major effects on a person’s mental and emotional health and wellbeing.
Studies continually prove that people who exercise regularly sleep better. They sleep deeper and wake less while sleeping. Upon waking, they are refreshed and ready to tackle the challenges and reap the joys of the day.
Muscle strength protects the body from aches and pains, helps us to avoid disease and other age-related ailments. All these combined increases our chances of living in dependently for as long as possible
Why is muscle so important? Here’s why in a nutshell:
- Muscle is the driving force behind our fat burning mechanism – our metabolism.
- Muscle tissue is very active, requiring energy (calories) just to remain viable.
- Our muscle cells burn glucose (blood sugar) for energy.
- Toned firm muscle tissue gives a pleasing shape to our body.
- Strong muscles help us perform physical tasks optimally, making everyday activities easier.
From a good health and wellness perspective the primary goal of an strength training exercise program is to maintain muscle tone and muscle strength. The goal is to achieve the following major benefits:
- Increase in strength, to be able to perform our day-to-day activities with ease, decrease risk of falls or accidents and increase longevity.
- Burn calories and reduce excess body fat and the health risks that go with it.
- Stimulate feel good chemical to reduce depression and relieve stress.
- Reduce the risk of major life-threatening diseases and illness by strengthening the immune system along with the entire body and its systems and processes.
Health and wellness exercises do not mean we are in a competitive muscle building exercise program. What it does mean is that we tone and build our muscles to achieve several goals: reduced loss of muscle mass, better body composition (fat/muscle ratio), disease protection, more energy, and the chance to look and feel our best.
There is a true saying that says the stronger we are the better we look and feel.
We all crave to improve ourselves and that means challenging our muscles to keep or increase their strength. Whether we choose to use the gym as our exercise haven or have the discipline and tools to strength train at home, the bottom line is we must “just do it!”
There is nothing complicated about it. Just make sure to make the proper adjustments so that you are continually challenged by your strength training program.
That which does not challenge you will not change you.
Take command of your life now, increase your longevity, strength, and disease protection. Build your self-confidence and self-esteem and love looking in the mirror at your reflection!
“Reclaim Your Longevity” can help you do just that…
For more tools and resources from Carolyn Hansen to assist you in attaining your health and fitness goals and achieving the success you desire in life, please visit:
Carolyn Hansen Fitness