HEALTH AND WELLBEING
wor th the weig ht
Personal trainers often come across people who are reluctant to try weight training. They might not want to ‘bulk up’ like a body builder or they might be put off by the idea of strenuous activity. The reality is that resistance training – building muscle strength – is not just for body builders. There’s a growing understanding that this form of exercise has a vital role to play in maintaining an overall level of physical and mental health and function. By working with qualified exercise physiologists and personal trainers, resistance training can be an enjoyable and achievable part of your daily routine, and make a significant difference to your health.
Why weights? Build muscle
Resistance exercise increases muscle mass which can improve the ability to perform activities of daily living and improves tendon integrity, which is related to lower injury risk, including low-back pain. Resistance, endurance and balance training, or a combination of these in a varied exercise program, is the most effective form of
exercise intervention for both health and physically frail older adults.
Better for bones
Strength training increases bone mineral density, reducing the risk of osteoporotic fracture. Studies have shown significant increases in bone mass density after four months’ exercise.
and support around the painful joints.
Happy days Strength training has been shown to reduce the effects of depression. A 1997 study found most (87 percent) older people surveyed were no longer clinically depressed after 10 weeks of strength training.
Move your metabolism
By adding weights to your exercise routine, you will increase your metabolic rate – the amount of energy you use at rest. One study showed the average resting metabolic rate increased seven percent in response to strength exercise. Resistance training improves glucose metabolism, the ability of the body to convert sugar to energy. This may help reduce the risk of diabetes developing and can be used in the management of Type 2 diabetes.
Strength exercise has been found to reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis by enhancing joint function and increasing the strength
Did you know?
Three in five Australians over the age of 65 have two or more chronic conditions. Less than 22 percent of older adults meet the weekly target for strength training. To stay healthy or to improve health, older adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity. Think resistance training might be for you? Read about ACH Group’s Allied Health services and exercise and wellness groups at achgroup.org. au/health-and-wellbeing