Resistance Training: What Are Its Health Benefits?

Physical training or staying active is necessary to improve the quality of life led by an individual. Resistance training is one such form of physical training which is targeted toward the well being of the muscles of the body. When it comes to taking care of our bodies, muscles tend to be the most neglected part. In reality, muscles are one of the most important components of our bodies. Without healthy muscles, we would not have been able to move things, circulate blood throughout our body or even perform the most essential function for surviving, which is breathing. Therefore, our muscles need to be taken care of as well, to enhance their efficiency.
The basic principle on which resistance training is based is that the body’s muscular system works hard to eventually overcome an applied resistance if it needs to. This work by the muscular system makes it stronger and more efficient if done regularly.
What are the health benefits of resistance training?
Practising resistance training consistently, as suggested by a certified fitness trainer can greatly affect the body positively. Resistance training improves the muscular system of the body but is not limited to it. Resistance training has several health benefits- both physical and mental. Some of them are listed below.
  • Conditioned and toned muscles reduce the risk of joint injuries.
  • Better body posture may help keep postural deformities at bay.
  • Greater balance and increased range of motion.
  • Increase in bone mineral density and a reduction in the chances of occurrence of some bone diseases.
  • Ability to perform everyday chores which require strength with ease.
  • Improve self-esteem.
  • Better quality of sleep and reduced risk of insomnia.
  • Efficient management of pains.
  • Stronger muscles.
  • Retaining body flexibility even when you age.
  • More energy and an ability to retain that energy throughout the day.
  • Reduced risk of chronic diseases. Maintenance of healthy body weight and easier reduction of excess body fat.
  • Improved memory and reduced risk of age-related cognitive impairment.
  • A guided resistance training program helps to recover earlier from total hip & knee arthroplasty.
  • Better control and coordination in movement.
Some essential factors of resistance training
There are certain rules which need to be followed to achieve any desired outcome within a stipulated time frame, efficiently. Similarly, some essential factors need to be kept in mind when doing resistance training. The ABCs of resistance training are the following:
  • Adequate rest
As much as exercising is important, taking rest is equally important. Resting between different sets of exercises or taking a day off from working out is essential for your body to recover.
  • Switching exercises
For resistance training to be effective, variety is important. Adding new exercises and increasing or decreasing the intensity from time to time is important so that the body does not get too habituated to the exercises to the point of not making any further progress.
  • Workout regime
A workout regime consisting of different exercises is important to maintain consistency and be regular with your workouts.
  • Warm-up
Warming up before working out is essential to prepare the body for upcoming intense exercises. Light warmup exercises like stretching should be performed before delving into hardcore strength training.
  • Cooling down and recovery
Cooling down after a workout session is important to allow the body to repair and regain the lost energy. Improper cooling down after a workout session may result in extreme fatigue, muscle cramps or even lack of stamina.
  • Load build-up
In resistance training, it is important to keep challenging the body with new and more intense exercises. This is done so that the body keeps on making progress and does not get stuck at any level.
  • Equipment
Resistance bands are often used for strength training. These bands can be of varying weights or resistance and are not very expensive. People doing resistance training can choose a resistance band according to their needs or as directed by their fitness trainer.
Who can benefit from resistance training?
Resistance training is beneficial for everyone irrespective of age or gender (unless advised otherwise). If you are an individual who does not have any pre-existing health conditions and has enough determination to go through the process, then resistance training is perfect for you. However, if you suffer from any chronic illness, have just recovered from a disease or are of advanced age, do consult your doctor/physiotherapist before starting resistance training. Resistance training under a trained fitness instructor is advised to reduce the risk of any injuries associated with improperly performing workouts.
Resistance training is great for improving agility and the flexibility of joints. It may help keep several chronic diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis and back pain at bay.

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