The Benefits of Resistance Training

The <em>Benefits</em> of Resistance Training

By now, most of you will know that we are big advocates of resistance training but did you know the many benefits that come with it? Keep reading to find out!

For many years, it was believed that women didn't belong in the weights room however with the many benefits of resistance training, more and more women are heading to the gym to not only get stronger but to improve their overall health and well being!

It’s likely you’ve heard the term resistance training interchangeably used with the terms strength or weight training. 

These styles of training requires the body to move against an opposing force like weights or resistance, such as dumbbells, barbells, booty bands or machines. 

Strength training can encompass anything from bodyweight exercises to plyometrics, whereas weight training involves the use of equipment such as free weights and weighted machines. Resistance training can include other popular formats of training such as HIIT, pilates, and yoga.

We strongly encourage incorporating at least 2 to 3 resistance training focused sessions a week as it’s believed that resistance training strengthens your muscles and bones, improves your posture, and leads to better overall health and wellbeing. 

Let's break down some of the key benefits:

Promotes strength and muscle growth

Many women skip resistance training to avoid getting "bulky". Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Personal Trainer Dr. Tony Boutagy emphasises that weight training does not lead to instantaneous muscle growth. In fact, it takes time and consistency to build muscle. 

He further explains that the general concern is that one will grow muscle and increase fat at the same time. To ensure this doesn’t happen, Dr. Boutagy explains it is possible to build lean muscle mass and stay lean by controlling your nutrition, in addition to aerobic and resistance based training. 

In fact, Dr. Boutagy strongly encourages including forms of resistance training in your fitness regime to build your strength, muscle and bones, while also promoting other beneficial factors such as improved flexibility, mobility and posture.  

Enhance your overall posture

Posture problems can occur when the muscles and ligaments that support the body are weakened. This can often be caused by sitting down for long periods of time, working on laptops and scrolling on phones for many hours of the day. Considering many of us do this day in and day out, it’s important to focus on strengthening the weakened muscles. 

This is where resistance training can be useful to increase the strength of these muscles and assist in bettering overall posture. Building the strength of your back, shoulders and abdominal muscles can be beneficial for enhancing your overall posture, control and stabilisation. 

Improved overall health and wellbeing 

Performing just 2 to 3 resistance training based sessions per week can lead to a number of positive improvements in both your physical and mental wellbeing. 

Resistance training sessions can lead to beneficial outcomes for your physical health such as: 

  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Prevention or control of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, dementia and obesity
  • Improved insulin sensitivity 
  • Regulation of blood sugar levels 
  • Stronger bones and muscles
  • Better flexibility and functional mobility

From a mental perspective, incorporating resistance training into your routine can enhance your mental health by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can also lead to a positive increase in your self esteem, as well as help to improve cognitive function. 

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