If you only have limited time today choose a brisk walk, but if you have additional time consider lifting something heavy. Untrained adults lose on average 3-8% of their muscle mass each decade with an accumulation of body fat. This muscle loss contributes to a lower metabolic rate and continued body composition changes and weight gain through the lifespan. Conversely, even a 10 week resistance training program has been shown to increase lean muscle mass, reduce body fat, and improve your resting metabolism. The resting metabolic benefits seen with weight training are above those noted with other forms of exercise including aerobic exercise.
Performing weight training of large muscle groups, 2-3 non consecutive days per week, has also been shown to benefit other areas of our body. Our previous blog posts document the improvements in sports performance and injury rates with trained individuals experiencing half to two thirds less injuries across all sports. Additional benefits include improved walking speed, functional independence, cognitive abilities and self esteem. Metabolic benefits include improved bone density, insulin sensitivity, blood sugar levels, cholesterol and visceral fat reduction. Cardiovascular benefits include lower blood pressure and improved good (HDL) cholesterol levels.
Despite these vast benefits many individuals do not meet national guidelines for strength training each week. To learn how to initiate or improve your current strength training routine contact the experts at MEND.