We encourage all types of exercise for our patients at Edgemont Chiropractic Clinic. We like Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Barre, Crossfit, stretching, walking, running. You name it. If it gets you up and moving, we're all for it.
But we really really like strength training. Why? Because it confers benefits that other forms of exercise don't match. For young and old and those in between.
Here are a few benefits from strength or resistance training:
1) Building muscle mass prevents frailty. You build up muscle mass until about the age of 30, then slowly start to lose it. By the time you're 60, the rate of muscle loss starts to accelerate. You become weaker, your balance isn't as good as it once was, you struggle a bit getting up off the floor, and then you may have trouble performing your daily tasks of housework, gardening, and self-care. Now you need assisted living and that may be the start of a slippery slope into physical and cognitive decline.
2) Strength training burns calories, even after the exercise is over. Who doesn't want that? After strength training, you use extra calories to repair the muscles that got the workout, making them stronger.
3) It enhances bone health. Bone mass also declines as we age. The stress placed on bones from strength training stimulates bone cells called osteoblasts, helping us maintain and build denser bones, warding off osteoporosis.
4) It helps you decrease body fat which may have the effect of lowering your cholesterol, blood pressure and improved glucose tolerance. Now you're decreasing your risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and strokes).
5) There is a clear association between overall strength and longevity, and more muscle strength is also associated with better survival rates for many forms of cancer.
6) Higher intensity exercise activates areas in the brain associated with emotion and affective processing ( your feelings and responses ).
7) Finally, think about this - strength training may also improve cognitive function. Strength training triggers the release of many brain chemicals including BDNF ( brain-derived neurotrophic factor ), that helps neurons grow, connect with each other and resist age-related decline.
You don't have to be a body-builder to get these results. You should however dedicate 30-45 minutes twice a week to your strength training. Keep doing all those other exercises you like too (or in some cases, don't like, but do because you know they're good for you).
You don't even need to go to the gym. At Edgemont Chiropractic Clinic, we work with Sheila Hamilton, our experienced strength and conditioning coach. We can help design a back and neck-friendly strength training program in the comfort of your own home, live on Zoom.
Let us know if you need some guidance, we're here to help.