Each decade from the age of 30 you lose on average around 3 – 5% of muscle; however we can reduce and prevent this loss through strength training. Muscular strength is essential for everyday living, balance, bone health and general wellbeing as well as management of many chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Strength training is different to aerobic exercises as it can prevent muscle loss.
Strength training is important for all ages. If you have never engaged in strength training before not to worry, now is still a good time to start and experience positive changes! Two to three strength sessions per week is enough to achieve adequate strength gains. As you progress through your training it’s important to gradually overload your weights to continue to see benefits from the training.
Free weights and cable machines are a fantastic way to increase muscle strength because they also challenge your neural system to improve stability. Using free weights challenges your stability in 3 dimension of movement – and thus enables you to carry over the strength you develop in the gym to your movements in the real world
There are many different ways to progress you strength training, if you’re unsure about the most appropriate exercises for yourself seek out an Accredited Exercise Physiologist for the best advice. While the benefits of strength training are unequivocal; it’s important for you to exercise right for the unique needs of your body.
Time to get started!
Written by May Warrick (Exercise Physiologist/ Corrective Exercise Practitioner)