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Resistance Training: The gift that keeps on giving.

Updated: Feb 4

Some of you may have watched the Jon Snow documentary series “How to Live to 100” last year. In it, he visits the Loma Linda community, America’s only “blue zone” town where residents have +10 years life expectancy vs average. He’s seen joining an over 85s resistance training class at 06:30 am with interviewees talking about how important strength training is to their way of life.

In my opinion, this is no coincidence. Resistance training is crucial to counteracting the effects of ageing both physically and cognitively and I passionately believe that this is especially true for women.

Whilst resistance training is a key part of any training plan with the goal of reducing body fat and improving strength we now know that that resistance training is also brings a range of other benefits to overall health that compound as we age.

From our 30s onwards we naturally start to lose muscle mass, a condition known as sarcopenia, which causes a loss of muscle function. Without intervention the rate of loss increases with each decade. A reduction in muscle also reduces our bone density and often increases fat which negatively affects our metabolic health.

This can be especially true for women as we experience the natural decrease in oestrogen associated with menopause. This reduces bone strength increasing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures which can significantly impact quality of life as we age. Building stronger muscles correlates with strong bones by an increase in bone density reducing these risks. 

The good news is, our bodies are amazing and you can start getting the positive benefits associated with resistance training in a short space of time. One recent study showed that a regular programme of resistance training could increase muscle mass by 10% and strength by 150% in just 12 weeks.

So, if resistance and strength training is not part of your lifestyle, the best time to start incorporating it is now. It really is the gift that keeps on giving!

The key is consistency and remember if you are a beginner, speak to your GP first and start slowly, ideally learning how to lift weights correctly and safely with a 1-1 Personal Trainer.

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