In part 1 of Weight Training for Life I showed in a simple graph the impact that resistance training if it has been a lifelong activity, something adopted later on or never undertaken.
It really goes without saying that those who have made weight training part of their lives, long term or even later on, enjoy massive benefits and quality of life over those who have never adopted resistance work.
Weight training for life can start at any time and there will be direct impactful benefits.
Resistance training increases capacity and decreases the rate of normal aging decline which increases the capacity that one would end at if no consistent resistance training was performed at all throughout life.
Effects of normal aging include:
- Sarcopenia (age related loss of muscle mass)
- Decreased bone density (osteoporosis) especially in females
- Risk of type 2 diabetes (due to inactivity)
- Risk of cardiovascular disease (due to inactivity)
By no means is this an exhaustive list, but these are some primary concerns that can be combatted simply by starting to exercise via resistance training.
A consistent resistance training program has been shown to increase bone density (Gomes Ciolac & Rodrigues-da-Silva, 2016), decrease muscle tissue loss that comes with aging by increasing strength, and decreasing the risk of falling (Roy & Gill, 2014).
Additionally, with these benefits, confidence in movement and quality of life due to increased independency improve as well. The less sedentary one is, the less likely type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease will be a risk (Chodzko-Zaijko, et al., 2009).
Maximising functional capacity
Simple activities such as getting up and down stairs, carrying groceries or walking a dog could become difficult as aging decreases muscular strength and endurance. It is shown that as one ages, up to 40-50% of strength can be lost before 80 years of age is reached. These musculoskeletal deficits and inactivity have been recognized as prime factors leading to weakness, loss of independence and falls with aging (Simons & Andel, 2006).
There is a lot at stake as one ages, and resistance training is the key to preventing much of it under normal circumstances.
Younger populations are not excluded from this call to action either! Developing habits, fostering socialization and enjoyment as well as all the benefits of an adult resistance program can be seen in the youth (Faigenbaum & McCfarland, 2016). Injury prevention, and the act of learning how to move correctly maybe two of the most important benefits of a youth resistance training program.
These habits and self-education could be what it takes to continue to train throughout one’s life. As can be seen in the previously shown chart, the sooner one starts to consistently resistance train, the greater capability they may achieve as well as a higher end point functionality.
The information within this article already shows the benefits and need to strengthen the body at any age. Each one of us is an athlete; we just have different sports. For the younger crowd, the sport may be soccer or rugby, and for the older crowd, the ‘sport’ may be walking the dog or climbing the stairs without feeling nervous, or bringing in all the groceries without taking a break.
Basic movements translate through all the sports and activities
For instance, the squat incorporates muscle synergies that improve hip and knee extension which translates directly to a soccer player’s running ability as well as simply the ability to get out of a chair! It is for this reason, that the squat should be practiced no matter who you are.
The SAID principle states that there will be Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands. This means that for each individual sport along all the age brackets, there is a specific way to train to increase the ability of that specific sport or event.
Don’t wait, the answer is Weight!
Make the decision that you want to extend function, mobility and capability until very late in life and start training. Weight training for life will give you a better life!
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Jon Kilian