Benefits of resistance or weight training exercise
- Builds muscle tone and strength
- Reduces the muscle fibre loss that comes with aging
- Helps build bone, reducing the risk of osteoporosis
- Helps reduce blood pressure
- Helps burn fat and reduce weight by increasing your metabolic rate
What is resistance exercise?Resistance exercise is any type of physical activity that uses external resistance such as weights or exercise bands that cause your muscles to contract. Muscle contraction increases muscle mass, strength and tone. During resistance training the cells of your muscles are microscopically damaged. Your body quickly repairs the damage, which in turn increases muscle growth and strength. This is why it is important to leave time between workouts to allow your muscles to regenerate. A body that has good muscle tone is able to burn fat better decreasing your risk of obesity. Yoga and Pilates are also included in the resistance exercise category because you are using your own body weight for resistance.
Resistance exercise is good for your body, but how does it help you avoid becoming diabetic?The Harvard School of Public health in Boston and the University of Southern Denmark studied 99,000 non-diabetic women over the age of fifty for eight years. Researchers studied both the type of exercise and how long these women exercised weekly. The study showed that muscle-strengthening exercise combined with aerobic exercise greatly reduced the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Another study actually showed a 59 percent reduced risk of becoming diabetic by adding these two forms of exercise. Even though the study concentrated on women, men can also benefit from combining these two forms of exercise. In fact men who trained with weights for 30 minutes five times per week reduced their risk of Type 2 diabetes by 34 percent.
What if you are already diabetic?Those who have diabetes can improve their overall health and their blood glucose levels by adding resistance exercise and aerobics to their fitness routine.
How long do you need to exercise?The recommended amount of exercise per week is as follows:
- Aerobic exercise at least 30 minutes five times per week or any combination of time as long as it totals 150 minutes per week.
- Resistance or weight training exercise at least 60 minutes per week.