Health Benefits of Weight Training
Getting in shape is known to prevent some lifestyle ailments, and weight training plays an important role, especially as we age.
These are the conditions that weight training helps prevent, control, or aid in recovery and rehabilitation.
For some of these conditions, an experienced physiologist with strength training qualifications may be necessary, and treatment may best be done in conjunction with a physician.
Muscle loss (sarcopenia)
Beginning at age 35, muscles are progressively lost from the body unless an effort is made to counteract the loss. Muscle is also lost during disease and disease states. The loss of muscle mass is called sarcopenia. Resistance training can increase or maintain muscle mass or decrease the rate of muscle loss.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a condition characterized by the inability to produce enough insulin in the body, resulting in high blood glucose levels. This can cause some conditions, including heart disease, nerve damage in the feet, and even kidney disease. Endurance and strength training builds muscles that increase overall fitness and provide additional room for glucose.
People with type 1 diabetes can also benefit from weight training.
Weight training can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. In particular, resistance training has been shown to lower blood pressure, increase HDL cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol, and lower blood glucose and insulin levels. The same kinds of benefits can be seen in people who already have heart disease. For this reason, resistance training should be included as part of a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program.
Progressive resistance training is a safe and effective way to improve muscle strength after a stroke. Improvements in muscle strength affect walking and movement performance, as well as participation in activities. Current stroke rehabilitation recommendations include strength training, which can be an effective form of physical training for people with mild weakness.
For many people, the loss and thinning of bone mass can be stopped with proper exercise. Weight training of the type used in strength training (weights or machines) is an established form of weight training that can prevent osteoporosis.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system characterized by physical shock, muscle stiffness, and slow, uncertain movements. It mainly affects middle-aged and elderly people. A progressive resistance training program improved gait initiation, speed, and power in one study group in at least one study.
Osteoarthritis is the loss of cartilage (and bone) that protects your joints. Osteoarthritis occurs mainly from middle age to old age. Osteoarthritis causes pain and stiffness, especially in the hip, knee, and thumb joints. Paradoxically, weight training can help manage the disease.
Osteoarthritis must be distinguished from rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease.
Progressive resistance training has also established strength and functional benefits for those with rheumatoid arthritis.
Weight training has been used with some success during cancer therapy and recovery to maintain muscle mass and overall weight that can be lost due to chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Multiple sclerosis is a progressive disease of the nervous system. Symptoms can include numbness, impaired speech, and muscle coordination, blurred vision, and fatigue. In recent years, progressive strength training has been recognized as an effective tool for treating multiple sclerosis people.
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