Strength training can help you live longer healthier life

Les Mills Bodypump release 94 preview

As part of an effective movement (exercise!) regime, good strength training workouts are important and can help you to a longer healthier life. I undertake resistance strength training as part of my weekly routine. This combined with PEAK 8 high intensity interval training and/or Metabolic Aftershock I find an effective weekly exercise routine.

Benefits

Resistance strength training has many benefits, and is an essential element if you want to prevent weakening of your bones (osteoporosis), age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia), limited range of motion, aches and pains etc.

Although walking is good to do, walking is not enough to preserve muscle tone, bone health, balance and posture. If you’re not engaging in strength training, chances are you’ll become increasingly less functional with age. It’s important to realise that by the time you’re in your 70s, your muscle strength and tone will have declined by roughly 25 percent from what you had in your mid-30s. You’ll lose up to 50 percent once you approach your 90s.

Anti-ageing 

Interestingly, resistance strength training even has a beneficial impact on your gene expression. Not only has it been shown to slow cellular aging but it can actually return gene expression to youthful levels. In seniors who take up strength training, the genes’ clocks can be turned back by as much as a decade! I’m all in for hacks to stop or reverse ageing certainly as I get older (mid 40’s for me).

Examples of muscle strengthening exercises include yoga, body-weight exercises, and resistance training using elastic bands and/or free weights or weight machines.

Bodypump

What I endeavour to undertake twice a week is Les Mill’s Bodypump group classes at my local sports centre. I only got into this earlier this year and I have to say I’m hooked.

This is the description of Bodypump lifted directly from the Les Mill’s website.

Using light to moderate weights with lots of repetition, BODYPUMP gives you a total body workout. It will burn up to 590 calories. Instructors will coach you through the scientifically proven moves and techniques pumping out encouragement, motivation and great music – helping you achieve much more than on your own! You’ll leave the class feeling challenged and motivated, ready to come back for more.

I’m sold! The classes available are usually 45 or 60 minutes in length. Recovery days between each class are required as all muscle groups will be challenged. The amount of weight you ‘pump’ is entirely up to you but as you get stronger you should increase the weight/resistance. Not only will it strengthen you, some of the moves are aerobic in nature so an added benefit.

Maybe it’s just at my sports centre but more often than not I’m the only male in the class; why?, I don’t know. Maybe guys don’t like the thought of doing classes and would rather be seen pumping iron in the gym!? That’s not my thing and as I’ve said in previous posts I’d rather not spend hours and hours a week exercising. In fact there is no need too; science tells me that.

To summarise

An Effective Movement exercise regime should include strength resistance training. Research shows that, no matter your age, you stand to gain significant improvements in strength, range of motion, balance, bone density, and mental clarity through exercise. It’s never too late to start. But clearly, the sooner you start, the better. When it comes to bone and muscle strength, it’s clearly a lot harder to regain what you’ve lost than maintain what you’ve already got. Combine this with PEAK 8 interval training and/or the Metabolic Aftershock home exercise routine and you will benefit from a longer healthier life.

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