The benefits of resistance training
In addition to improving muscular strength, resistance training is beneficial to the whole body.
For a long time, it was believed that only cardio was beneficial to the heart. However, studies (1-3) have shown that resistance training can lower blood pressure and blood levels of bad fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides. Also, muscular exercises work the heart, which then becomes stronger. Each effort of the day then becomes easier. In short, resistance training allows us to maintain our heart healthy for a longer time, in addition to lowering the risk of heart diseases, such as atherosclerosis or heart attacks.
Osteoporosis is characterised by the loss of bone density and more fragile bones. One out of four women, and one out of eight men suffer from it after the age of 50 (4). Muscular exercises put stress on the bones, which leads to them solidifying as you continue training. A good way to prevent osteoporosis is to combine a healthy nutrition with muscular and/or cardio exercises where you have to support your weight (walking, jogging, tennis, etc.).
A personalised and well-executed resistance training program helps prevent or cure back pain. About 80 % of people experience lower back pain at some point in their life. Resistance training strengthens the back muscles and improves posture. The back then has better support, the spine is more stable, and our movements are better executed during our daily activities.
Resistance training is said to help reduce the risks of colon cancer, improve control over diabetes, improve skills in sports or daily activities, reduce stress, and prevent muscle loss that is due to ageing. Muscular training is also essential to a weight loss process. La musculation aiderait à réduire les risques de cancer du côlon, à améliorer le contrôle du diabète, à améliorer les habiletés dans les sports ou les activités de tous les jours, à diminuer le stress et à prévenir le déclin musculaire lié au vieillissement. Un entraînement musculaire est également essentiel dans un processus de perte de poids.
The amount of necessary muscular training
The Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology recommends at least two sessions a week to get health benefits. Performing more will result in more benefits.
By Mathieu Rousseau
1. Tambalis K et al. (2009). Responses of blood lipids to aerobic, resistance, and combined aerobic with resistance exercise training: a systematic review of current evidence. Angiology. 60(5):614-32.
2. Kraemer WJ et al. (2002). Resistance training for health and performance. Curr Sports Med Rep.1(3):165-71.
3. Hills AP et al. (2010). Resistance training for obese, type 2 diabetic adults: a review of the evidence. Obes Rev. 11(10):740-9.
4. Ostéoporose Canada. www.osteoporosecanada.ca/
5. La Société canadienne de physiologie de l’exercice. http://www.csep.ca/francais/view.asp?x=804