I often go on about the importance of strength training for runners but here I want to highlight the real reason why EVERYONE should be doing some form of weight training.
Most people these days first think of walking, running, cycling to get fit and healthy, well, yes they're not wrong. Still, I see people in gyms walking/running on treadmills, hitting the cross-trainers and spinning away on the bike and never step foot in the weights area.
Heres a couple of reasons to include strength training into your fitness plan.
Muscle Mass and Strength as you age.
Strength training is the only form of exercise that is going to help you maintain your muscle mass, bone density, and strength. As we age research has shown that we generally lose these factors especially as you hit your 50's. (1)
Bone & Joint Health -
Strength training helps reduce factors such as developing osteoporosis and fractures. It helps the skeleton system by building muscle, which stimulates the bones to strengthen and grow. It also helps reduce symptoms of Arthritis by strengthening muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments, although it can not reverse the condition. (2)
Quality of Life -
Putting some focus on strength work will only help you lead a more independent life as we age, giving you the strength to continue with everyday tasks.
I've seen first hand what a weak body can leave us like, training people who have struggled just to get up of the floor through nothing else other than having no muscle strength, Sitting down or getting up out of a chair is challenging.
Weight training doesn't mean going to the gym and living heavy, start off by laying down the foundations with some bodyweight and movement workouts. Then you can add some extra resistance, keep it fun, this type of work doesn't have to be boring even at the gym!
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