What is resistance training?



S.A.C. Dip (Diet, Exercise and Fitness)
@AVogelUK
Ask Louise


13 November 2020

Resistance training

When it comes to exercising, all too often we get caught up in thinking about distance, weight loss and how to push our bodies beyond what they are used to. Yet, one area that we may have given a little less thought to is resistance training.

This form of exercise can be really important for strength, as well as mobility and endurance.

To get to grips with this type of exercise, this blog will cover:

  • What is resistance training?
  • Examples of resistance exercises
  • Benefits of doing resistance training

Plus, stay around to check out my video on resistance exercises to do at home.

What is resistance training?

Resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to push or pull against some kind of force, such as a dumbbell or resistance band. This kind of resistance work builds strength and endurance.

It is recommended that we do endurance activities at least twice a week. This is alongside aerobic activities like running or cycling that increase the heart and breathing rate.

You can find out more about how much exercise is needed during the course of a week here.


Examples of resistance exercises

Whether you prefer a solitary workout in the gym or a comfy session at home in your PJ's, there is a resistance exercise for you! Check out some of the many options below:

My self-care tip: How to do resistance training at home

With home workouts becoming increasingly popular, I thought it would be helpful to give a few tips on how to do a little more resistance work from the comfort of your living room!

Top tips when starting resistance training

Feeling a little bit cautious about starting a new activity? Check out my tips to ease you into a new program:

  • Don't do too much too quickly – for example, build up your weights slowly and with control.
  • Allow time between workouts to help your muscles recover.
  • Add a touch of Atrogel Arnica Gel if your muscles feel achy.
  • Speak to a gym instructor or personal trainer if you have any physical limitations. They will be able to advise on workouts for your specific condition.
  • Speak to a personal trainer or gym instructor for more guidance on lifting weights safely and with good form – we want to avoid any nasty injuries!
  • Focus on breath when lifting feels particularly challenging.
  • Always warm-up and cool down when exercising with stretches or a gentle activity like fast-paced walking.

Benefits of doing resistance training

There are a host of ways in which resistance training can benefit our health. First, we lose muscle strength with age so this is a good way of counteracting some of this and maintaining good mobility.

Perhaps a little surprisingly, resistance training is of particular benefit to menopausal women. Do you suffer from severe hot flushes? Well, it may be time to do a little more resistance work! Research shows that it could relieve symptoms like hot flushes.1

The study in question had 58 women suffering from moderate to severe hot flushes complete 15 weeks of resistance training, with each participant being encouraged to carry heavier weights as the research went on. In comparison to a control group, those doing resistance training saw an improvement in their menopausal symptoms.

On top of this, age gradually decreases bone mineral density, making the bones more fragile and prone to osteoporosis. Resistance training is one means of supporting the bones as we get older.

Speaking more generally, resistance training can bring improvements to muscular strength and endurance. Plus, like any kind of exercise, it should bring improvements to mood, mental wellbeing and even heart health.

So, there are plenty of reasons to be a little more pro-active in your pursuit of resistance activities. Check out our Get Active videos to get started now!

References

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31239119/ 

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