The number 1 reason for doing weight bearing exercise: Avoid osteoporosis
Your bones need to stay challenged… Just like your brain needs exercise to stay sharp, your bones need to be loaded to stay strong.
After about aged 30 we start to lose bone density at a very small percentage with women losing it more quickly than men.
Here’s a frightening quote from ILC UK (International Longevity Centre UK):
‘Osteoporosis affects over two million people in the UK; more than double the number of people affected by dementia.’ Breaking Point – Osteoporosis in the UK
In 2015 there were 3.5 million people (50+yrs) with osteoporosis. In the whole population of the UK 21.8% of woman had osteo, compared to 6.8% of men. You can see why it’s got a reputation as a ‘women’s disease’. IOF stats
But there is good news! Weight bearing and resistance exercise helps lower your risk of osteoporosis related injury, and there are certain classes you can take that provide just that.
2. It staves off disease
There is good evidence that taking regular exercise (any exercise) can reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. They say running is good for your heart, your brain, your waistline and your mental health. That applies to weight training too with the added bonus of less impact on your joints!
3. It boosts metabolism and fat loss
Simply put, muscle burns more energy than any other tissue, so if you want to ‘up’ your basal metabolism (the energy you burn to just keep you alive), resistance training is a must.
4. Strength training regulates insulin and lowers inflammation
Along with keeping away chronic disease, strength training has you burning through glucose, which is good news for those grappling with Type 2 diabetes who consistently need to manage blood sugar levels.
Lifting weights even aids in fighting off inflammation, a marker tied to many diseases. While we don’t quite understand the mechanism yet, studies have suggested that regular resistance training sessions resulted in drops in inflammation in overweight women.
5. It improves posture, sleep, mood and energy levels
Weight training comes with other bonuses, too. It has been proven to positively affect sleep patterns, and as with most exercise, you feel great afterward. So, although you may feel tired from training, you feel better, more content and you’ll rest better too.
6. It improves strength and endurance
This class will deliver strong, toned muscles, rather than bulking up you up. And, if your legs get stronger, then the amount of time you can spend standing, running, walking, or on a bike will get longer, so it fits with other healthy activities. Even very good runners who do weight training can improve their running efficiency.
7. It improves balance and reduces the risk of falls
Strength training, especially as we age, provides better balance by strengthening your legs, which will help you do your everyday tasks more easily, and safely. A postmenopausal woman has a 50% chance of sustaining an osteoporosis-related fracture in her lifetime. (Breaking Point – Osteoporosis in the UK). I am sure that many of us know a friend or relative who’s had a fall, or required a knee or hip replacement. Generally, the more active they are before, the better the recovery. But you need to put the work in now!
8. Best thing – it’s FUN!
Honestly! I teach Pump every Monday night and it’s my fave class to teach. If you don’t know what goes on, take a look at the blog, ‘What’s Pump all about then?’ There’s a great video explaining what we do and some examples of the moves…
You’ll notice results fast as your strength increases and you won’t even mind the soreness the day after (which I love – I know, I am a bit weird). As you adapt, it will get easier and then you’ll have to up your weights!
If I’ve convinced you to do some weight training, join Ad Astra for Pump. We meet at the Carterton Community Centre, where you can use our equipment. Or you can Pump in the comfort of your own home over Zoom, using dumbbells or even baked bean tins.