Resistance training is for more than just bodybuilding and increasing how big our muscles look. It also helps slow down the hands on the clock of time, increasing our vitality and longevity. In fact, strength training keeps our mind sharp just as much as our physical body!
How does resistance training benefit us as we age?
Reduces inflammation: Inflammation is easily one of the largest causes of aging as we know it. The scientific community has even coined a term for inflammation that influences the aging process, inflammaging. Everything from wrinkles, to dementia can be blamed on, or made much worse by, systemic inflammation. Weight training helps your body produce cytokine IL-10, which helps regulate your body’s inflammatory response and decrease systemic inflammation.
Helps maintain neural function: Besides reducing the inflammation that is associated with memory loss and fatigue, strength training is beneficial for our cognitive function by increasing blood flow along with neural growth factors. Routine strength training has also been shown to help prevent deterioration of the hippocampus.
Prevents injury: As we age, injuries can set us on a downward slope, and quickly. They can even leave us imobile and in chronic pain. Strength training helps us prevent injuries to our:
And other vital parts of our body. Strength training also has been shown to improve bone density, which is crucial as we age.
All that said, make sure to train responsibly, otherwise it can be very counterproductive.
Tips for training responsibly:
Train with proper form: Utilizing the proper breathing techniques and biomechanics is vital to your body's alignment and pain-free movement. If you are unsure of proper form, there is no shame in working with a professional or attending a few clinics to get it right! (View our clinic schedule)
Be mindful of past or present injuries.
Consume the proper nutrients to support your strength training: Since you are breaking the muscle down when exercising, it is important to nourish your body adequately so that it may build the muscle back stronger. Getting roughly one gram of protein per pound of lean body mass can be a great rule of thumb to meet anyone’s goals.
Prioritize recovery and body work just as much as your training: Make sure you are listening to your body and taking what you need. If you are constantly in pain or injured you will not be able to train consistently. If you have a pain or routine ache, rather than ignoring it, get to the bottom of it.
At Transcend Wellness Chiropractic we work with everyone from professional athletes to your avid gym-goer with achieving pain-free movement! If you are interested in improving your recovery routine or addressing what has been stopping you from strength training, get in touch today!