WHY RESISTANCE TRAINING?

by Paula Allia
PT, DHSc, MTC, OCS

Resistance training is a type of training that uses weight to stress the body enough to enhance lean body mass and ultimately muscular strength. Throughout life the body goes through a series of changes and as one ages there are hormonal changes, changes in insulin resistance, and even bone density changes. Everything gets harder to maintain; even muscles go through something called sarcopenia where they break down and without enough stimulus muscle mass diminishes and ultimately without stimulation, muscles shrink and strength declines. The result is less strength and agility to stay competitive in activities and for some just to be able to stay active and functional in everyday activities.

The key to staying fit is to include three sessions of strength training a week. This strength training needs to be done in all planes of motion. Front to back strengthens the flexors and extensors of the body which are generally worked more than most though they are commonly not as strong as they should be and thus abnormal patterns of muscular firing may occur. Side to side activities strengthens the ABDuctors and ADDuctors. Then, of course, strengthening rotators help to stabilize the body to allow for participation in sports.

Working all planes contribute to better balance and body awareness.

Many people exercise muscles in isolation but it makes more sense to incorporate functional patterns when you are working out. The core muscles provide stability and thus a stable platform on which you can then advance the strength in the arms and legs.

It is a coordinated effort of several muscles acting synchronously with the joints to provide the necessary range of motion, flexibility, agility, and strength for a particular task.

The core strength is key and functions indifferent ways to stabilize while other body motions are occurring. For example, when one reaches to perform a task, a healthy core will engage the transversus abdominus to set the stage for a motion. It has been noted that when someone has had injury to their back, this muscle does not fire the same as someone with a healthy back. Thus, working these muscles and trying to tap into the neuromuscular reeducation of muscles and patterns will help to maintain a healthier functioning body.

Strength training is all relative to the individual. It may start with body weight itself and then increase with sets. It has been demonstrated over and over that exercising increases the resting metabolic rate of an individual that works the body hard enough.

One set of repetitions may be enough to start but then as the body tolerates working up to three sets will definitely contribute to a higher resting metabolic rate and a leaner body.

Here’s the thing. Do not sabotage yourself with eating more. It is commonly mentioned that people exercise so that they can eat more. This may be true to maintain but why not strive to improve the body so that it stays more fit and functional.

You are in control of the quality of the rest of your life. Be smart…participate in your own health through the summer and always! Do not settle for less.

For further information you may call Paula at239.263.9348 or emailpaulaallia@mac.com.

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