Resistance training involves performing exercises using an outside force that acts as a hindrance. You don't need to lift weights or use a weight machine to train with resistance. Exercises such as push-ups, in which the floor acts as the resisting force, are also considered resistance training. When you perform a resistance exercise, whether it is a push-up or lifting a barbell over your head, your muscles contract in response to the force placed upon them. Typically, each individual exercise works on contracting a specific set of muscles.
Bigger, Stronger Muscles
Strength training doesn't mean you will bulk up like a bodybuilder. It will prevent you from losing muscle mass, which is of particular concern as you get older. As you age, your body loses muscle mass. That lost muscle is replaced with fat, unless you work to keep it. It doesn't matter how old you are, resistance training can help you regain muscle mass at any age.
Lifting weights and other resistance exercises will also help you become stronger. Having stronger muscles means you'll be able to lift heavier objects and will be able to work out longer. You'll notice a boost in your endurance for other tasks as well.
Better Balance, Better Posture
Once you begin working your muscles regularly, you'll notice an improvement in your balance as well as your posture. You learn the proper way to hold your body during the exercises, which transfers into your everyday life as well. Regular exercise also improves your coordination, which keeps you upright and balanced. Better balance is especially beneficial as you age.
Fewer Health Problems
Exercise and resistance training improves the health of your heart, which in turn can help lower your blood pressure, and reverse metabolic syndrome. Training may help your body better control glucose levels and insulin response. If you suffer from back pain or a condition such as arthritis, resistance exercises may help reduce your pain or relieve your symptoms.
Strength training, unlike cardiovascular exercise, helps you burn calories during a workout and after a workout too. Resistance exercises usually increase your resting metabolic rate, which means you'll burn more calories, even when you are sitting and reading a book or watching television. The more calories you burn, the more likely you will be to reach your weight loss goals and the less likely you'll be to put on unwanted weight.
Starting a Routine
Even a light weight and short workout can set you on the path to reaping the benefits of resistance training. Try one set of a variety of exercises three times a week to get started. You should feel tired at the end of each set. If you do not, add more weight, or increase the number of sets you perform.