While other types of exercise certainly hold plenty of benefit, I firmly believe that if you had to exclude all but one type of exercise, the one you would keep would have to be resistance training.
It is the most effective type of exercise you can do for all round health, at every age (arguably, the older you are, the more important it is) and it comes with multiple unique health benefits. Here are my top ten.
1) Obviously, because you are lifting weights, your body will gain muscle. You’re not going to start looking like a bodybuilder, although you will probably notice your body shape changes pretty satisfyingly.
2) With muscle, comes increased metabolism – more muscle needs more energy to maintain itself, so either you’ll find you can eat a little more and still maintain your weight, or you’ll find it easier to lose weight.
3) Muscle improves the use of glucose in your body, which means it’s more easy for your body to use it for energy, plus your risk of developing T2 diabetes is reduced.
4) Assuming you’re doing the right stuff, resistance training is effective at reducing blood pressure and balancing your hormones.
5) There are plenty of brain benefits to resistance training. You’re learning new things, creating new neural pathways and improving your cognition. You’ll improve your coordination and balance too.
6) Because you are using your body and moving through full, functional, ranges of motion, your posture will improve and common aches and pains will reduce too.
7) Age-related muscle loss is reduced hugely.
8) Bone density is improved by weight bearing exercise. Although it seems to make logical sense to protect your bones from weight so as not to damage them, it is actually the challenge to your bones which makes them stronger as they adjust to the challenge.
9) The confidence side of things is not to be underestimated – just knowing you’re able to fly up a flight of stairs, or lift the suitcase from the top of the cupboard makes life so much easier.
10) The mental health benefits are huge, although these can be attributed to most types of exercise, resistance training has been shown to be more effective than psychotherapy for depression.
If you’d like to start resistance training with a program designed specifically for you, get in touch, I’d love to help.