Cardiovascular exercise has long been recommended as beneficial for your system, keeping you fit and healthy and prolonging your life, but we’re slowly recognising the benefit of other exercises such as resistance training, yoga and pilates.
Here’s the thing. Having strong muscles has a direct effect on how long you live, and apparently, it is hand strength, which is important, according to new research out of the University of Michigan. It was found that as grip strength declines with age, our hands are important to enable us to continue to live for longer.
There are several other benefits to lifting weights or performing resistance training.
When you perform resistance training such as squats and deadlifts, we increase our bone density and mineral content in our bones, which makes it less likely for us to fall and, if we do, our bones are stronger to withstand breaks and we have the strength to try and stop the falls through better mobility. This is also the reason why weight training is a great preventative measure for osteoporosis.
Worried that you currently aren’t performing any resistance training? Well, don’t panic as it’s never too late to get started and you can easily get going with just bodyweight exercises at first. They are ideal for increasing bone density. Just make sure you add some weight or repetitions as you start to master your own bodyweight.
Some ideal bodyweight exercises to begin with include squats, burpees, mountain climbers, lunges and push-ups.