Resistance training (aka strength training) involves exercises that enhance muscular strength. There are many different types of strength training exercises. When people think of strength training, they typically envision sitting at machines where they are required to push or pull weights. However, resistance training can entail using bands, free weights, and even one’s own body weight to strengthen an area of the body.
Why is Resistance Training Important?
As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass, which is then replaced with fat. Once an individual hits the age of 30, they start to lose up to 5% of their muscle mass with each decade. That can equate to at least a 30% loss of muscle mass over a lifetime. Women also lose muscle mass more rapidly as they age. In addition to several other benefits, strength training is important because it helps people to avoid muscle deterioration.
Strength training helps prevent osteoporosis. The resistance that is placed on the bones causes them to become denser, which is necessary to fight osteoporosis.
Strength training reduces stress. When a person participates in resistance training and exercise, endorphins are released throughout the body that helps reduce stress levels.
Strength training increases resting metabolic rate. Increasing a person’s resting metabolic rate helps them to burn more calories when they are sleeping, eating, or simply sitting and watching TV. Thus, it makes it easier to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. This is the only proven way to “boost your metabolism.”
Strength training helps you lose inches. Muscle takes up less space than fat. As a person engages in strength training and replaces fat with muscle, they will start to notice a change in their shape and that their clothes are looser.
How Often Should You Engage in Resistance Training?
Resistance training does not have to take several hours a day for a person to reap the benefits of it. Research has shown that engaging in strength training 2-3 times per week, up to 30 minutes each time can give significant results.
How Do You Get Started?
At Treasure Valley Metabolic Medicine, we will guide you in your journey to metabolic health by not only supporting your weight loss goals through nutrition and medications (if indicated) but we will also help with resistance training plans. Resistance training sets forth the foundation for a healthy metabolism so losing weight and maintaining that weight loss is supported.
Harvard health publishing: Harvard medical school (2016). Preserve your muscle mass. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/preserve-your-muscle-mass#:~:text=Age%2Drelated%20muscle%20loss%2C%20called,muscle%20mass%20during%20their%20lifetimes.
Mayoclinic (2019). Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/strength-training/art-20046670#:~:text=By%20stressing%20your%20bones%2C%20strength,help%20you%20burn%20more%20calories.
Harvard health publishing: Harvard medical school (2018). Strengthen your mood with weight training. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/strengthen-your-mood-with-weight-training
WebMD (2003). Get More Burn From Your Workout. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/get-more-burn-from-your-workout#2