Bare 5

Reconnecting to health and wellness

Lift Weights

Health Tip #8

Get some resistance training on a regular basis

If you are desiring to be strong and vital throughout your life, you need to start laying the groundwork now. The old mantra “use it or lose it” is true in just about every aspect of life and the human body and it is certainly true when it comes to your strength. That means if you want to have strength in life, the earlier you start the better.

This is an extremely complicated topic with lots of gray areas so I will try to be simple and basic with my review and advice. Let me know if you need more in the way of guidance.

Why is resistance/weight training so important? Numerous reasons; here are the best ones…

You will increase…

muscular strength, circulation, cardiovascular function, body composition, brain activity, concentration, coordination, bone density, blood pressure, hormonal balance, intestinal transit time, flexibility, blood sugar control, insulin action, and overall body function.

You will help prevent…

osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, back and body aches and pains, depression, insulin resistance, thyroid disregulation and anxiety.

In short, EVERYTHING in your body and about yourself works better with some consistent resistance training. Above was the short list of benefits. There is no shortage of literature on the subject and as someone in the fitness and health industry, I have noticed this with everyone I have worked with. Resistance training always confers health benefits, for some people it helps completely turn around their health and well being.

Whatever your motivation: function, health, performance, aesthetics, weight or others- my advice… resistance training. Of course, eating well is the basis for how we look and feel, but changing the look and performance of your physique is all about resistance. The key aspect here is progressive resistance. The same activity (20 push-ups) will be effective for the first few times you do it and then after your body adapts, which is  very quickly, you are getting little more than a slight circulatory response in those muscles. Slowly and steadily overload your body with resistance training, and you will be amazed at the change our bodies are capable of. Of course, if you overdo it and stress the body too much, it will take a great deal of recovery just to get back to baseline. So the key is to push your body just up to the point of failure, rest for a couple days, let your muscles recover and get stronger, then repeat the resistance training at just a slightly higher level of intensity. Maybe it’s a few more repetitions, a little more weight, or a more difficult version of the same exercise. You shouldn’t necessarily use the same weight or reps, but take your body to that same point of fatigue every time. Your threshold and maximal performance should get better nearly every workout. If it doesn’t, either you are not getting enough recovery or you are not pushing the muscles to enough fatigue. If you are going to FAILURE, make sure you are resting quite a few days between workouts. If you are just hitting FATIGUE, a day or two of rest will likely be sufficient.

Strength training is vital for everyone. Maybe there are people who don’t like to lift weights. No problem, lift your body. Our bodies can provide fantastic resistance in a number of ways and environments. Moving your body around is a great start, adding resistance confers a number of benefits. If you like to use external resistance/load, go for it. External weight can do amazing things for your body and brain. I recommend a combination of weight training and bodyweight training for maximal health and wellbeing.

Although no program design works for all people, here are my basic recommendations…

Deadlift (pick up something heavy)

Overhead Press (press something heavy over your head)

Squat (bodyweight or with load somewhere on your body)

Push (a pushup or bench press)

Pull (pullup or row)

Carry (carry something heavy)

Rotate (think swinging a bat)

Plank (isometric hold)

There are numerous ways to workout and innumerable variations to explore. I cannot get into the minutia without overwhelming both you and myself. Once again, stick with the basics. This doesn’t have to be complicated. Humans are not complicated in the way we move. We pick up things, carry things, push and pull things, squat, twist and stabilize. We don’t need to get too fancy when training. Work on getting stronger in the realm that you need strength and that your body is naturally designed to build strength.

So that’s the basic rundown- a couple times a week, do some resistance training. Give your body what it was meant to be challenged with… resistance.

Thanks for reading, let me know if there’s anything else I can expand upon.

P.S.

This is just an informative tip. If you need legitimate assistance, let me know, I’m am glad to help out.

If you happen to have physical issues, you may not have free reign to do everything on my exercise list. You are probably capable of them all under the right guidance, but use some caution.

Our attitude is our only limitation. If you want to exercise you can make it happen. Time, lack of equipment, no knowledge and all the others are simply convenient excuses and can be remedied effectively. Ask for help and you will get it if you want it.

 

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