You may have heard that strength training (resistance or weight training) is pretty well the perfect exercise program. Well it is. A really quick, easy and efficient way to improve strength and fitness and the good part is you only need 2-3 sessions each week. You can rebuild lost muscle tissue and tone up what you already have, effectively drop excess body fat and prevent and even reverse certain diseases.
You will start to hear a lot about the importance of looking after your muscular system especially as you get older. That is the opposite of what we have been told for the last 30 odd years in that we should give priority to our cardiovascular (heart / lung) system with 'cardio' type activity. But now we know that recreational activity no matter how much you do of it does not counter the number one bio-marker of the aging process which is muscle tissue loss.
Without we work our muscles directly with proper exercise we will lose them at the rate of one half pound per year. This loss is what drags down health in general as our muscular system is the engine room of the body and any loss seriously affects it.
For starters it affects bone and joint health. Muscles are attached to bones so when the muscles weakened bones weak as well. Firm toned muscle holds our joints in place protecting and cushioning them from the impact and stress of day-to-day activities.
One of the many benefits of strength training exercise is its ability to change our body from a fat storing one to a fat burning one. Fuel (calories) is burnt in muscle tissue cells for energy and this is what powers our metabolism and the rate our body burns fuel. Strong toned muscles increase the metabolic rate every minute of the day and night even while you are resting and this alone is the difference from being slim and trim or overweight.
Keeping our muscular system strong can help ward off or even reverse disease. Our immune system is our armor and defense system and needs protein stored in the muscles to produce antibodies and white blood cells to fight infections and invaders. Strong toned muscles mean plenty of ammunition to fight or recover from disease.
Strength training exercise knocks the aging process for a six. The health and condition of our muscular system is what can keep us younger longer and slow the aging process or shunt us into accelerated aging that can lead to disease. A well conditioned 60 year old is equivalent in strength and health to a sedentary 40 year old.
Everyone has heard the old expression 'use it or lose it' and never is it more relevant for the strength of the human body. When you use it as it was designed giving it enough activity that puts the muscles through their paws regularly you will be instructing your body's hormones to renew and rebuild itself. This is far preferable than the opposite where your body becomes weak, frail and susceptible to disease.
We have to put intentional proper exercise into our lives if we wish to remain strong and healthy so we can reach and stay at our full potential right through our adult years. Strength training is the easy fast way to do this and anyone can spare an hour or so each week for such an important and rewarding self-care program.