I’ve never been a huge resistance training person. I don’t hate it, but I’d much rather go for a jog or bike ride. And yet I’m making an effort to lift weights on a much more regular basis. I’ve also been promoting it pretty hard for my parents and other retirement-age folks in my life.
Why am I so bullish on resistance training? The aerobic exercise that I enjoy so much is great for reducing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc (or at the very least delay the onset of disease so that you are healthier, longer). But it is strength training that allows you to go about your activities of daily living – washing, cooking, cleaning, gardening, shoveling the driveway, etc. Strength training can also help reduce the risk of falls, and strengthen your bones in case you do fall.
Strength naturally decreases with age. What I’ve noticed among the older adults that are close to me, is that it’s not just longevity that matters; it’s also important to maintain some level of independence. You can’t do that without a certain basic level of muscle strength. So if you plan to live to a ripe old age, you should really work in some resistance training.
Featured image by Carlos Varela.