Resistance Training & Your Health

Facts about resistance training

  • Resistance training, also known as weight training, is a type of exercise that promotes improvements in muscle strength and endurance.
  • To complete resistance training, it is important to find a weight that is right for you. There are plenty of equipment options for resistance training, including bands, dumbbells, home items (such as canned goods or books), and equipment such as weight machines. You can also complete resistance training using only your own body weight.
  • It is important to train all major muscle groups (legs, back, chest, shoulders/arms, and core).

Benefits of resistance training

  • Cardiovascular system (heart, brain & arteries): Resistance training, when combined with cardio-based exercise has been shown to improve your overall heart and vascular health. Several studies have shown significant reductions in resting blood pressure after two or more months of regular resistance training. Regular resistance training can also help improve your healthy cholesterol levels (HDL) and lower your bad cholesterol levels (LDL).
  • Muscle mass: Regular resistance training can improve muscle mass, strength, and endurance, which can improve your independence and protect your joints and bones from injury.
  • Blood sugar control: For those living without diabetes, regular resistance training can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. For those living with type 2 diabetes, regular resistance training improves the muscle’s ability to use blood sugar, which improves the level of blood sugar in the blood.
  • Weight and waist circumference management: Regular resistance training increases lean muscle mass, which stimulates metabolism. In return, this causes the body to burn more calories, which can lower abdominal fat and aid in improvements to your waistline.
  • Sleep: Regular resistance training has been linked to improved sleep duration, and reduced sleep disturbances.

Getting started

  • Always complete a warmup and a cool down before and after resistance training.  Your warm-up and cool-down should last between 3 to 5 minutes, however, some people may need slightly longer. Your warm-up and cool-down should feel light on the RPE (Rating of Perceived Exertion) scale.
  • Use a weight that you are able to complete 8 to 10 repetitions of the exercise using the correct form and would rate the exercise as “hard” or as a 15 on the RPE scale.
  • Complete 8 to 10 repetitions of one exercise from each muscle group (legs, back, chest/shoulders, arms, and core). Repeat 1 to 2 times.
  • View the band and bodyweight package or the dumbbell and bodyweight package for several resistance training exercises and instructions.
  • Remember to breathe normally as you perform these exercises.
  • Do not perform any exercise that causes you pain or discomfort. Speak to your Exercise Therapist for other options. Speak to your Exercise Therapist before performing any advanced exercise.

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