Health Benefits of Resistance Training*

Tuesday, 18 October 2016, By Kimberley Hinschen

Resistance training or strength training is feared by a lot of people, women in particular. For the most part, this fear comes from a misunderstanding of what resistance training actually is, and what the health benefits are.

Resistance training is when muscles have to work to overcome a resistant force. Note, this resistance doesn't necessarily mean a huge amount of weight plates, it could simply be your own bodyweight.

Different types of resistance training include:

  • free weights - such as dumbbells or barbells
  • weight machines - when instructed correctly by a training professional
  • resistance bands -  portable and can be used for a variety of rehabilitation exercises
  • your own body weight - can be used for squats, lunges, push-ups and pull-ups. Using your own body weight is convenient, when travelling or at home.

 

The Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommend that adults do muscle strengthening activities at least twice a week. When you combine this training with aerobic exercise you will have a well-rounded program which will deliver many mental and physical health benefits including:

  • Improved muscle strength & tone
  • Improved flexibility and balance
  • Increased muscles to fat ratio (improved metabolism)
  • Prevention or control of chronic conditions such as: diabetes, heart disease, arthritis & back pain
  • Improved mobility in joints
  • Increased bone density & reduced risk of osteoporosis
  • Decreased risk of insomnia
  • Enhanced performance of everyday tasks

 

*Before doing any strength or resistance training, it is important to warm up the muscles to prevent injury. A great way to do this is with 5-10mins of light cardio (treadmill, rower, bike, cross trainer) before your session. To optimise results, complete a full body stretch after training.

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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