031016 An introduction into strength and power training for all ages
It turns out there are effective actions you can do to positively alter your health. They can help improve your blood sugar and cholesterol levels, help improve your mood, make you stronger and more powerful, and at the same time make your bones stronger to help ward off fractures.
These are not the only benefits these actions, not by a long shot.
They can potentially help you avoid disability, frailty and retain that precious independence we all want to have as we age.
Strength training can do all of this.
It is a well-known fact that strength training offers all of the benefits previously mentioned, in addition to many others such as are listed in the following section from the Harvard Medical School.
“Practically any regular exercise benefits your health. Strength training specifically helps in the following ways:
Prevents falls and fractures by improving balance and preserving power to correct missteps
Helps to control blood sugar
Relieves some of the load carried by the heart
Improves cholesterol levels
Improves the body’s ability to pluck oxygen and nutrients from the blood stream
Boosts metabolism even while sleeping and thus helps keep weight within a healthy range
Prevents or eases lower back pain
Relieves arthritis pain and expands limited range of motion
Raises confidence , brightens mood, and helps fight mild to moderate depression
Wards off loss of independence by keeping muscles strong enough for routine tasks”
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) there is now a heightened awareness of the benefits of strength training. There is also the fact that only a small percentage of the American population have actually started a strength training program. This percentage is estimated at just slightly under 22% for men and 18% of the women in our nation who are strength training twice a week on a regular basis.
This percentage figure is way below the U.S. governments Healthy People 2010 goal of 30% of the adults in America who make strength training a part of their exercise program.
If you’ve never lifted weights before or done any type of resistance training the biggest barrier to starting may be knowing where to begin. This may be your situation, if so all you need to start is a comfortable pair of shoes and clothing. Adding to this, a solidly built chair, a few dumbbells and if you’re able to skip rope, a skip rope. This is all you need to get started. There, that wasn’t so difficult was it?
Since the health benefits of strength training are founded on its ability to protect against the onslaught of frailty, while at the same time making everyday tasks easier and more manageable it is essential that you begin sooner rather than later. The longer you wait the more your muscle tissue, bone density, and strength dwindle. If you don’t do something about your strength and power abilities you will soon find it difficult to walk upstairs, get up from a chair, carry groceries, and fend for yourself as an independent person.
Not only will you find it difficult to do the aforementioned tasks but also lacking strength leads to falls and that can mean incapacitating fractures. This in turn further compromises your ability to lead an active life. Strength training has a wealth of research backing its ability to effectively slow down and possibly reverse these life altering events.
Even if you are in your 70s, 80s, 90s and above, research has shown a dramatic increase in strength, power, agility, and mobility within 10 weeks of lifting weights 2 to 3 times a week. Now you have to admit that this is not a tremendous time commitment, especially considering the benefits to your health.