Resistance training is the use of weight or gravity and body mass to exercise the muscles. Many exercise machines are designed for resistance training including free-weight machines, incline benches and resistance bands. Although resistance training can be used to increase muscle size, it is also important for strength and toning of the body.
Resistance training is beneficial to people at all levels of development. Teens and young adults benefit from this type of exercise because it increases bone mineral density. This is especially important during growth and development stages of life. Women in menopause benefit from this training because hormone levels during menopause change dramatically. Some of these hormones can actually remove minerals from the bones resulting in osteoporosis. Resistance training slows bone mineral loss and increased blood flow to strengthen the bone. The elderly benefit from resistance training probably more than any other age group. Regular exercise, which includes light weight resistance, helps to decrease all of the risks that are brought about by aging. Resistance training improves mobility resulting in fewer falls and less risk of broken bones. It increases flexibility and helps to add oxygen to the tissues resulting in increased wound healing potential.
Resistance training benefits the heart and circulatory system almost as well as cardiovascular exercise does. Regular weight training lowers blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Resistance training increases the capabilities of the heart allowing more oxygen-rich blood to reach the brain. This training also increases lung function when performed on a regular basis.
Weight training using light weights or resistance bands helps to tone and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the body. Heavier weights used during exercise can greatly increase the mass of muscles and also increase the metabolism. Resistance training is very beneficial to weight loss programs. Even at rest, muscles tend to burn more calories than fat does. This means that the muscles which are active during resistance training are burning calories exponentially. Resistance training allows the body to burn calories at a faster rate than most other exercises.
Studies have recently shown that resistance training can actually improve diabetes, back and neck pain, gastrointestinal transit time and even elevated blood pressure. It is becoming more common to see resistance training prescribed as an actual treatment for many ailments that affect the human body. Since resistance training burns fat while it increases muscle tone and mass, it is considered one of the most beneficial of all exercises.
Improving body health through resistance training does take practice. In order for muscle groups to be exercised evenly and without injury, it is best to have a professional teach resistance training exercises. Too much weight or too many repetitions can cause injury to muscles and tendons which could be avoided with proper training. Consulting with a professional trainer can also be great motivation when resistance training is used for weight loss.