How Resistance Training Makes You Healthier, According To Science
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our health in more ways than one. Aside from people having to deal with the virus itself, it has also caused many of us to be inactive, especially during the initial lockdown period. Data shows that the mean hours of physical activity people participated in on a weekly basis decreased by 15% below pre-pandemic levels, which is concerning since physical activity is a critical aspect of a healthy life.
Fortunately, data also shows that more than 95% of people who exercised before the pandemic are back to their usual workout routines. If you’re one of those who are reintegrating working out into your life, or if you are just starting out with your fitness journey, it is important to get into exercises that make you stronger. One of these is resistance training, which has full-body benefits you can reap.
Reduces Body Fat
The stress that most of us felt during the pandemic not only affected us mentally, but it also led to a collective weight gain among adults in the country. Recent data shows that as a whole, New Zealanders gained 2.8 million kilograms, or 2,819 tonnes, in between 2020 and 2021. One of the most effective ways to shed the excess weight is through resistance training Using weights or workout bands can increase your metabolic rate, thus making weight loss easier. To get the most out of your workouts, you can do resistance training along with aerobic exercises such as running or swimming.
Falls are another serious yet common issue among older adults in the country. According to the Australian & New Zealand Falls Prevention Society, around 30% of adults over 65 experience at least one fall per year, and this can lead to superficial injuries, fractures, even a reduced quality of life. The good news is that resistance training can also improve your balance, thus reducing your predisposition to falls. One study that involved 50 seniors showed those who participated in light resistance training exercises improved their balance compared to those who did not. Thus, a well-rounded program that includes resistance training, done two or three times a week, can improve flexibility and balance.
Boosts Mental Health
Your mental health is a key indicator of your physical strength. This is because low physical fitness can increase your risk of mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. Among New Zealanders, mental health issues are becoming more pressing given that more than 28% of the population reported poor mental wellbeing. This is a 5% increase compared to 2018. One way to improve your mental wellbeing is to engage in physical activity. In fact, a study that focuses on improving the quality of life among older adults found that resistance training not only improves physical function, but it boosts mental and emotional health as well. Moreover, even mild resistance training has been found to alleviate symptoms of depression.
These three outcomes are just among the many scientifically-proven benefits of resistance training. Overall, engaging in physical activity is a good way to stay in shape, and including resistance training in your routine ensures that you get healthier and stronger.