Wellness Embodied Blog

Most of us know the benefits of physical activity such as walking, swimming, running, cycling (cardiovascular fitness). But strength training shouldn’t be forgotten in our exercise programs, especially as we age.

Not only does physical activity have a vast array of general health benefits (heart health, weight control, bone density maintenance) but is also a key factor in improving memory, reducing depression and alleviating stress. Now walking for 30 minutes a day definitely has its benefits, but is it enough to provide lasting changes, and can including strength training help increase the benefits? A recent review of research articles found that for those aged 40-65, physical activity was linked with increase muscle strength and endurance and better balance. By training the musculoskeletal system patients demonstrated improvements in bone density, functional fitness and a reduced falls risk. Regular strength training has also been shown to help manage blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol level.

Strength training becomes more important as we age, as we naturally begin to lose approximately 5% of our muscle mass each decade after 30. But the good news is, it’s never too late to start! Commencing weight training later in life still causes changes in muscle cells and the benefits that come with it.

What type of exercise is best? Research points to higher intensity exercise to reap the most benefits. Now higher intensity doesn’t necessarily mean difficult or dangerous. Body weight, machines, resistance bands and free weights all provide different stimulus to the body and a physiotherapist will be able to develop a program that provides benefit, but remains safe.

If you would like to incorporate strength training into your exercise routine, why not come in for an assessment and tailored exercise program so you know you are getting the maximum benefit from your physical activity and ensuring your physical and mental health long into the future. Call us on 0742319777 or email admin@wellnessembodiedcairns.com .

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