Resistance exercise is training with weights, and using specific exercises without weights, to build muscle and improve muscle strength. It helps to improve your metabolism. Healthy muscle burns more calories and helps to reduce fat. You have 620 muscles in your body. The more ‘tuned’ they are, the more efficiently you function, and the healthier you are.
Resistance exercise also helps your bones. Bones are active living tissues. New bone tissue is constantly being formed, and old tissue absorbed. Resistance exercise puts your bones under what might be called ‘useful’ stress. This helps to stimulate bone formation -and when you consider that we lose 0.5% of bone mass every year over the age of 40, this is very important because it keeps your bones healthy and strong.
Resistance exercise will also help to improve your cholesterol levels, and reduce your blood pressure. As an extra bonus, it will improve your posture and help you to look good.
As you get older – beyond the age of 35 – resistance training becomes even more important. Every ten years your metabolic rate will reduce by up to 5%. In other words, the older you become, the less efficient your body will be at burning calories. If you take no exercise at all, you’re likely to experience an increase in weight of up to 15 pounds in a ten-year period. Much of this is because of a loss of muscle tissue, which often translates into an increase in body fat. If you can maintain both your muscle mass and strength by resistance training, you’ll be going a long way to maintaining an efficient metabolic rate and avoiding unwanted weight gain.
It’s never too late to do this. Previously it was thought that muscle degeneration was an irreversible process: however, a recent Canadian study showed that this is not the case. Regular resistance training can reverse signs of ageing in muscles – a powerful reason why the exercise you take throughout your life should include resistance training.
Resistance training is an essential part of your exercise regime. It increases your endurance, and most important of all, it promotes weight loss and makes you feel better.
15 minutes three times a week!
This is all you need to do to tone up your muscles and improve your metabolism. Of course you can do more, and the fitter you become the more you will want to do.