Strength Training: The real fountain of youth?
Updated: Apr 8
Forget your fancy creams, potions and fads. Strength training is a simple but highly effective way to fight back against the effects of ageing. The more evidence that is released, the more benefits are found from strength training. If you want to keep your health at an optimum level, introducing some regular resistance training can help in many ways:
It helps to control and even prevent high blood pressure. Many people assume that weight training or resistance training should be avoided if you are suffering with high blood pressure (hypertension). In fact, the opposite is true. Of course introducing weights should be graded, and you should start at an appropriate level, but research has shown that weight training reduced hypertension in a group of 15 volunteers who were taken off their medication before 12 weeks of moderate intensity resistance training (Moraes et al., 2011)
It will increase your metabolism. You will burn between 35-50 additional calories every day for every pound of muscle you build. Your metabolism is working around the clock, 24 hours per day so that means building muscle helps boost your calorie burn even when you’re not active.
Improves bone density. Women are especially vulnerable to osteoporosis, which is a disease in which bone density decreases which can in turn lead to fractures of the peripheral skeletal system, but also the spine. Losing bone density is part of the aging process, but resistance training is proven to help combat against osteoporosis. In the last few decades, many studies have shown a direct and positive relationship between increasing bone density and resistance training (Layne and Nelson, 1999). This in turn help reduce the chance of fractures, keeping the spine and hips healthier which are the two main areas that are affected in osteoporosis.
Helps to control and reduces the effect of diabetes. Diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent in the developed world, and the UK is no exception. The NHS spends £25,000 every minute on Diabetes. This equates to £14 billion every year, or 10% of the NHS budget on diabetes alone. Unfortunately, the prevalence of diabetes is only set to rise (Diabetes.co.uk, 2018). Resistance training and exercise can help increase glucose utilisation in the blood, and therefore reduce the chance of developing diabetes. With diabetes for many leading to kidney failure, ulcers, amputation and blindness, this is certainly one to avoid.
Reduces stress. Most people are aware of how much better they feel when stressed if they go for a long walk, or maybe a run. However, strength training has been shown to boost the level of endorphins (the happy hormone released in the brain) even more than other forms of exercise. This means you can handle more of the day to day difficulties with less anxiety, less stress and with a more positive outlook.
Reduces back pain and other joint pain. As a society we are too obsessed with posture. We think having a magic £2000 chair with perfect lumbar support will stop us from getting back pain. However, if you sit at work in your back pain preventer desk chair 8000, then sit in the car to travel home, and then sit at home in front of the TV, you will still get back pain. Strength trumps all when it comes to joint pain. Keep your muscles strong and your joints will be better protected against injury and pain.
Preserves muscle. It sounds obvious but on average we start to lose 1% of our strength every year over the age of 30. This process becomes more pronounced the older we get, which is why we see more falls in the elderly as their muscles are simply not strong enough to correct balance when they meet a more challenging terrain or obstacle. Which brings me on to my final point:
Helps to improve independence, quality of life, and reduce risk of falling in the elderly. Do you have an elderly friend or relative who struggles to mobilise independently, or whose mobility has declined over the years without obvious reason? A large part is likely down to weakness. Strength training in the elderly is proven to reduce the chance of falling, reduce pain and progression for a variety of musculoskeletal issues including osteoarthritis (Mayer et al., 2011)
Strength Training, when graded and appropriate, is essential to helping improve quality of life, preventing pain and injuries and reducing many of the effects of aging. This in turn reduces your chance of life limiting diseases like stroke (Hurley, 2011), coronary heart disease (Smutok et al., 1993), and even help prevent and improve the symptoms of diseases affecting cognitive impairment e.g dementia (Nagamatsu, 2012).
FURTHERMORE, it is never too late to start! Whether you are 16 or 116, there are benefits to be had from strength and resistance training. Whatever your goals are, speak to someone today who can help give you the confidence to have access to the fountain of youth- STRENGTH TRAINING.
Azzurro's private studio has all of the facilities required to start you on your journey. If pain prevents you from exercising, contact Matthew, our Physiotherapist who can start getting you exercising in a way that gets your pain under control.
Our strength and conditioning sessions can help build balanced, strong and functional muscles to control pain, or get you performing at a higher level in your daily life or sporting activity. Great for preventing injury or pain, and improving performance.
Our personal Trainers and highly qualified to support you from the beginning of your journey. No matter what your level of fitness, they will be able to assist you in achieving your goals, all within our private, fully equipped studio and outdoor training area. With a free consultation to all of our customers, there is nothing to lose! Put the fun back into fitness!
Click here to read our testimonials on how we've already helped people re-discover activities they had given up on!
Click here to book with one of the team, or find out more.