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NZREPS highlights specific benefits of resistance training

NZREPS highlights specific benefits of resistance training
April 14, 2021

While it is acknowledged that regular resistance training can improve sleep and posture, increase lean body mass and deliver a higher fat burning ability and toned body - the New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals also highlights some of the specific benefits that make adding some resistance to your workout worthwhile.

Mental Health
Not all benefits of resistance training are physical, with a study from Harvard Medical School showing a significant reduction in the symptoms of anxiety and depression with regular workouts. Just two sessions a week are required for the benefits to show.

Heart disease
According to recent research reported out of Iowa State University, as little as an hour a week of lifting weights results in a 40- 70% reduction in heart attack or stroke risk independent of other exercise. Perhaps the most interesting part of the study was the volume of weight training required for this result with just an hour a week. Also of interest was that the percentage reduction of risk of cardiovascular disease did not increase with resistance training above this level.

Diabetes
According to the Ministry of Health there are over 250,000 people in New Zealand who have been diagnosed with diabetes (mostly type 2). They recommend two resistance training sessions a week to manage type 2 diabetes, along with aerobic activity and good nutrition.

Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis, or the loss of bone mass is a risk factor as we age, and is more prevalent in post-menopausal women, and men over 70. Osteoporosis leads to thin and brittle bones leading to an increased risk of broken bones, especially as balance is compromised with age and inactivity, leading to increased falls. Any form of weight bearing exercise, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle can support strong bones in early life, and therefore a reduction in bone loss in later life. Strength training supports weight bearing activity and also contributes to balance, which can prevent falls, which are extra risky for those with osteoporosis.

NZREPs suggest that to get the maximum benefits of strength training “it’s important to work with a registered professional to ensure you get appropriate advice on what suits your health history, goals and lifestyle the best. Many people find using a dedicated exercise facility is the way to go, with a range of equipment you wouldn’t have available otherwise, and help is on hand when you need it. Whether it’s a gym or exercise facility, or a small studio, you’ll find everything you need. “

For more information on NZ Register of Exercise Professionals go to exercisenz.org.nz

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