Whilst cardio exercise is a great workout and gets the heart pumping, strength training builds muscle and sets your body up to tackle everyday activities more effectively – the more muscle you have the more strength you have.
Strength training will keep your body in check as you age, something a lot of people don’t think about until it is too late. If we don’t use our muscles we lose them and the strength that comes with them, although you can build them back up again it is a slow process and something that is harder as we get older. As we age we naturally lose lean body mass and cardio exercise alone isn’t enough to protect our muscle and bones for the future, without strength training you will become weaker and less functional as you age.
Everyday activities require muscular co-ordination, things like carrying bags, children and groceries all require you to maintain your balances whilst performing complex joint movements. Strength training can improve the way your muscles support your body when it moves and the strength you have to perform these activities. Free weights help your muscular system co-ordinate more efficiently while exercises that use your body weight create resistance against gravity and improve your overall movement and strength.
Muscles support the skeleton and enable movement so it is important to keep them strong and healthy to keep everything moving with ease. Stronger muscles mean stronger ligaments and tendons which will assist the body to stand up straight with good posture. Back and joint pain can be avoided and improved by strengthening the muscles that supports these bones with weight training. When your body is more capable it can better respond to falls and extra loads and reduce the risk of injury.
There are so many great reasons to get those muscles moving for the short and long term. If you’re unsure of where to start with strength training then make sure you have the support of a trainer who knows what they’re doing and can guide you. In the beginning you want to avoid injuries from lack of knowledge as you will experience down time and will be hesitant to get back on the horse again. You are more likely to stick to a new exercise routine if you’re confident in what you’re doing and see results faster.
Happy muscles, happy life!