Working Out vs Strength Training, part DeuxMay 26, 2022
As promised in my previous post (click here to read), this was going to be a two-dose blog post. For those of us who are trying to age with grace, I didn’t want to leave you hanging. As previously mentioned, the benefits of strength training can go beyond our muscles and the way we look. It’s also good for our brains and our bones.
“What’s good for the heart is what’s good for the brain!”
We’ve heard the saying before, right? But how does it work?
Exercise induces increased heart rate and as our hearts work faster, our hearts get stronger. The by-product of our hearts getting stronger is increased blood flow throughout the body, especially our vital organs. The brain is probably our most vital organ and requires good blood flow to provide it with good nutrients and oxygen. Therefore, what’s good for the heart is good for the brain!
Strength training is an integral part of brain health. Multiple studies have correlated exercise with good brain health. But why do I bias strength training over other forms of exercise? Because strength training provides the best buy-one-get-one free deal for both our bodily health and our brain health. In one study, researchers examined the cognitive benefits of strength training in elderly women. They found that the women who underwent a 12-week strength training program not only improved in upper and lower body strength output, but also cognitive capability by 19%!
Another study found strength training possesses the potential to delay the onset of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Mild Cognitive Impairment is a condition which is generally associated as a precursor to dementia. Furthermore, in a follow-up study, researchers were able to examine that strength training thickened the gray matter in the brain! Thinning of the gray matter in the brain has been noted as one of the deleterious effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. By thickening the gray matter within our brains, strength training has the potential to make our brains healthier and resilient to the adverse effects of aging.
On a personal level, my grandparents suffered from Alzheimer’s/dementia. I witnessed, first hand, the effects of the diminishing loss of faculties. I’m unfamiliar with what genetic predisposition I’m placed at from my grandparents’ disease, but if I am indeed placed at one, I would like to delay suffering from those effects for as long as possible and strength training may be an effective tool.
Strength training or resistance training has positive outcomes to creating the appropriate bone health we need as we age. In order to see the relevance, a simple physiology lesson is needed. Our bones are always being refortified every day. Think about it like our skin. We naturally shed skin cells every day and new skin cells are constantly being regenerated. It’s a natural process.
However, as we age, the process of refortification slows down and leads us to be more susceptible to conditions like Osteopenia. Osteopenia simply means bone deficiency. It’s the precursor to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis leads to brittle bones which can lead to fractures. Fractures can lead to life altering complications which can ultimately affect our quality of life.
So what can strength training do?
Strength training with weight bearing exercises stimulate cells in our bones called osteoblasts. Osteoblasts initiate the body’s response to rebuild and fortify our bones! By slightly overloading our skeletons, our bodies are triggered into realizing a need for stronger bones and increases the rebuilding process of our bones.
Strength training can provide not only strong bones, but improved quality of life because stronger muscles, stronger bones, and healthier brains mean independence.
By the end of both these articles, you might be thinking, “I should lift weights, but I don’t know what to do!” You also might follow up those initial thoughts with anxiety of starting a new routine, where to start, how to start, or anxious about getting injured.
Well, here’s the good news! We offer strength training classes. Not the ones you learn about by watching a lecture, but these are actual fitness classes designed to introduce and teach you by participation!
Whatever your level of readiness might be, we’ll meet you where you’re at!
We believe good health is achievable with longevity in mind. Our goals are to help you reach your goals by taking small steps towards them and we’ll walk alongside with you!
So here are the steps towards lifelong health!
Step 1: Call or Email Us at (626) 683-8536 / [email protected]
Step 2: Schedule a tour of our facility and Movement Screen. (The movement screen helps us to meet you where you’re at!)
Step 3: Show up and we’ll teach you the rest.
Cheers to a lifetime of health,
Isak earned his Master’s degree in Physical Education at Azusa Pacific University, where he worked with the Women’s Volleyball, Baseball, and Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams. From there, he spent seven seasons with the San Diego Padres organization as a Minor League Athletic Trainer, working at all Minor League levels. Isak believes in the power of exercise and movement as medicine and exercise’s ability rewrite the narrative of people’s lives.
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