Resistance training is a life necessity for me, just like sleeping, eating, and breathing are. Sure, we all like to look our best, but it is much more than that for me. So, let’s talk about some of the benefits of resistance training. It increases muscle strength and improves joint function which in turn helps you maintain balance and flexibility (because you are working joints/muscles through a full range of motion). This is very important because it helps you remain independent and functional as you age. It improves bone density, which is especially important for women as they age. It helps with weight management and builds the size and strength of muscles…an increased muscle to fat ratio means your body is burning more kilojoules at REST! How cool is that! It improves stamina and boosts your energy levels…you don’t feel tired all of the time! It helps with the prevention of chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, back pain, depression and obesity to name a few. It helps with pain management and decreases the risk of injury. And finally it boosts self confidence! Those are a lot of good reasons!
Resistance training works by causing a muscular contraction against an external force with the expectation of increasing muscle strength, muscle mass, and/or endurance. It comes in various forms like free weights, medicine balls, kettle bells, weight machines, resistance bands, and body weight. Find the one that you enjoy and that works best for you. Resistance training should take precedence over endurance training (like distance running) because the whole body benefits are much higher. And, if done in a certain way, you can get a cardio workout during your strength training sessions! Bonus!
In 2019, I encourage you to make a decision to take charge of your health for good instead instead of making a resolution that is not realistic. This means setting goals that are attainable over a longer period of time and that are sustainable for life. Baby steps are far better than biting off more than you can chew all at once. Ease into your fitness journey like you would a marathon rather than sprinting to the finish line. I promise you will have more long term success with this approach. Lastly, be kind to yourself. If you fall down, just get back up and keep going. We are not perfect, so do not dwell on the hiccups. Instead, celebrate your successes, however small or large they may be.