Strength Training for Lifelong Fitness in Jackson, NJ
Strength training is proven to be one of the most important factors in overall wellness. At Advanced Physical Therapy of Jackson, New Jersey, we find that many people initially think of strength training as a type of exercise that is performed to increase muscle size and strength. Of course, this is true – at least, in part. However, the resulting “load” placed on the bones and their supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments is even more significant when it comes to health and physical function.
Some of the wide-ranging benefits of strength training include:
- Counteraction of bone loss – In young people, bone resorption is balanced and sometimes even exceeded by new bone tissue generation. However, as part of the natural aging process, bone loss accelerates and eventually outpaces the creation of new bone. This directly contributes to weakness and poor posture, which are often seen in older adults. Through a process known as bone remodeling, strength training can promote the development of bone osteoblasts (cells that stimulate the formation of new bone).
- Consistency in blood sugar levels – Studies show that twice-weekly strength training sessions can help control insulin swings, blood pressure, cholesterol, and body weight. Researchers attribute this finding to the metabolic activity of muscles, which use glucose (blood sugar) for energy. After a bout of resistance training, this energy consumption may continue even while the body is at rest.
- Reduced inflammation – Regular strength training can lead to a shift in cytokine levels. This protein, which is produced by the body’s immune system, can increase inflammation, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and other conditions.
Strength training has also been linked to a sharpened mental focus, better cognitive function, improved balance and coordination, reduced stress and anxiety, and greater well-being. Scientists have also found that maintaining strength later in life is one of the best predictors of survival. That’s because almost every health outcome improves as the body becomes stronger.
Perhaps most surprising of all: It isn’t necessary to lift heavy weights in order to achieve these benefits. Light-load lifting, which involves repeatedly lifting very small weights, is believed to be even more effective.
If you’re interested in learning more, the experts at Advanced Physical Therapy of Jackson, NJ, can help you develop a strength training and wellness program to meet your unique health needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.