Resistance training is a form of physical activity that is designed to improve muscular fitness by exercising a muscle or a muscle group against external resistance. The health benefits that can result from engaging in resistance training are:
- Reversing Muscle Loss
- Regular resistance training of two – to – three days per week can increase muscle mass in individuals of any age group.
- Recharging Resting Metabolism
- A chronic response to resistance training is that an individual gains more muscle mass which requires more energy at rest to facilitate tissue maintenance.
- An acute response of resistance training is tissue microtrauma that occurs during a session requires energy for muscle remodelling which significantly increases resting metabolic rate.
- Reducing Body Fat
- Resistance training increases resting metabolic rate, improves insulin sensitivity, and enhances sympathetic nerve activity all of which are thought to contribute to a decrease in intra-abdominal fat stores.
- Facilitating Physical Function
- Aging affects the ability to perform activities of daily living, performing resistance training enhances movement control, functional abilities, physical performance, and walking speed.
- Resisting Type II Diabetes
- Resistance training can counteract age-associated decline in insulin sensitivity and to prevent the onset of type II diabetes.
- Resistance training provides improvements in insulin resistance and glycemic control, as well as reduced visceral adipose tissue and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c).
- Increasing Bone Mineral Density
- Muscle loss is associated with bone loss, by engaging in resistance training individuals can significantly increase bone mineral density after 4-24 months.
- Resistance training programs prevented or reversed approximately 1% of bone loss per year.
- Enhancing Mental Health
- Health benefits of resistance training include reduction of symptoms in people with fatigue, anxiety, and depression; pain alleviation in people with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and low back issues; improvements in cognitive abilities in older adults; and improvements in self-esteem.
Westcott, W. L. (2012). Resistance Training is Medicine: Effects of Strength Training on Health. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 11(4), 209-216. Retrieved July/August, 2019, from https://insights.ovid.com/pubmed?pmid=22777332.