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Resistance Training is Medicine

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Resistance training has evolved to be an integral part of exercise training. Continue reading to learn more about its effects.

Written by

Krupamol Joy

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Atul Prakash

Published At September 8, 2023
Reviewed AtSeptember 8, 2023

Introduction:

It is well known that exercise aids in maintaining better health strengthens muscles and bones, helps maintain weight, etc. Resistance training exercises have gained much attention in recent years owing to their benefits on health. According to the growing scientific evidence, resistance training can be used to prevent and treat a wide variety of chronic diseases. From heart disease and stroke to diabetes and obesity, resistance training can profoundly impact our health.

What Is Resistance Training?

Resistance training, also known as strength or weight training, is a type of exercise that improves muscular strength and endurance. Resistance training is founded on the idea that when needed, the body's muscles will strive to overcome a resistance force from exertion, thus enhancing muscle strength. The benefits of resistance training include improved bone density, increased muscle mass, and improved cardiovascular health.

Most people associate resistance training with weight lifting, but many other types of resistance training exercises do not involve weights. These include bodyweight exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, and resistance band exercises.

What Are the Health Benefits of Resistance Training?

Studies have elucidated the benefits of resistance training in individuals, especially in their relationship with lifestyle illnesses, some of which are listed below:

  • One of the main benefits of resistance training is that it helps to build strong bones. Weight-bearing exercises force the muscles to work against gravity, which increases the stress on the bones and stimulates new bone growth. This is especially beneficial for older adults who are at risk for osteoporosis.

  • In addition to improving bone health, resistance training can also help to increase muscle mass. This is especially vital for older adults, who often experience muscle loss as they age. Resistance training can help to offset this muscle loss and prevent age-related frailty.

  • Resistance training has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health. A recent study found that people who did resistance training had better heart health than those who did not exercise at all. This is likely due to the fact that resistance training increases heart rate and strengthens the heart muscles.

What Are the Different Types of Resistance Training?

Resistance training comes in many different forms. The most common type is lifting weights, but resistance training can also be done using one’s own body weight, resistance bands, or even everyday objects like water bottles or canned goods.

  • Weightlifting: Weightlifting is the most popular form of resistance training. It helps build muscle and strength and can be done at a gym or at home with a few simple pieces of equipment.

  • Body-Weight Exercises: Body-weight exercises are another great option for resistance training. These exercises use their own body weight as resistance, making them ideal for people who do not have access to weights or other equipment.

  • Resistance Bands: They are great tools for resistance training. They are lightweight and portable, making them easy to carry on the go.

  • Suspension Equipment: It includes training devices that perform different exercises using gravity and the user's weight

  • Others: Everyday objects can be used for resistance training. Water bottles, canned goods, and even laundry detergent bottles can be filled with water or sand to create an extra weight that can be used for lifts and other exercises.

Why Is Resistance Training Important?

Resistance training is a type of exercise that helps improve muscle strength by working against a force. Resistance training has been shown to have many health benefits, including.

  • Improving heart health.

  • Reducing blood pressure.

  • Helping to control blood sugar levels.

  • Aiding in weight loss and weight maintenance.

  • Improving bone density and joint health.

  • Increasing muscle mass and strength.

What Are the Principles of Resistance Training?

Three major principles underlie resistance training, which are discussed below:

  • Specificity: Fitness goals and the workouts that one performs directly relate to one’s needs. This is due to the fact that there are a wide variety of exercise types available, each of which is intended to produce a certain set of outcomes. Likewise, opinions on what constitutes exercise vary from person to person.

  • Overload: Overloading focuses on gradually pushing or loading the body in order to improve fitness. To put the body under enough stress for it to adapt and get stronger, faster, and more powerful, lift bigger weights, run farther, train more often, etc.

  • Progression: Progressive overloading refers to steadily increasing the weight, intensity, or repetition number in the strength training routine. The body will be forced to work more as a result, strengthening the musculoskeletal system.

What Are the Effects of Resistance Training on Chronic Diseases?

There are several chronic diseases that can be effectively managed or even cured with resistance training. These include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and back pain.

  • Heart Diseases: Resistance training has been shown to effectively treat heart disease. It can help to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

  • Diabetes: For people with diabetes, resistance training can help to improve insulin sensitivity and control blood sugar levels. It can also help to reduce the risk of complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis.

  • Obesity: Obesity is a major risk factor for a number of chronic diseases. Resistance training can help reduce body fat and increase muscle mass, leading to long-term weight loss.

  • Arthritis: It is a common condition that causes joint pain and stiffness. Resistance training can help to improve joint function and relieve pain. It can also slow the progression of arthritis by strengthening the muscles around the joints.

  • Pain: Back pain is a common problem that affects millions of people worldwide. Resistance training can help to strengthen the muscles of the back and spine, which can lead to long-term relief from pain.

Conclusion:

Overall, resistance training is a great way to improve health. Due to its many benefits on overall health and well-being, it is rightly considered therapeutic or “medicine.” Resistance training has many advantages, including aiding in weight management, gaining muscle, and increasing strength and endurance. Additionally, it has also been shown to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

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Dr. Atul Prakash
Dr. Atul Prakash

Orthopedician and Traumatology

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