Ok so I probably don't need to tell you that exercising has some direct health benefits as I think everyone knows that, but do you know which training method gets you which benefits? Let me break a couple down for you and dispell some of the myths whilst I'm at it!!

Resistance Training (AKA Weights)

  • All types of resistance training can increase your strength and being stronger means you'll perform better (day to day stuff aswell as sports!)

  • It can help slow the effects of ageing. Once you hit the big 3-0 you can lose muscle mass each year, on average around 1%. Unless you train you get weaker and more injury prone the older you get.. which sucks.. So pick up some dumbells already!

  • Reduces the risk of osteoporosis in women dramatically.

  • Helps lower your blood pressure and reduces your risk of diabetes and some types of cancer.

  • Same as cardio reduces your risk of heart disease by increasing good cholesterol and decreasing bad cholesterol.

  • Body composition changes, it can increase your muscle mass, increased muscle fibres require more calories=more energy being burned=reducing your fat stores.

  • You can also burn more calories for up to 24-48 hours after a workout! Your body needs to recuperate after a resistance based session and because of that, yep you guessed it more calories burnt!

Dispelling a popular myth:

  • It's hard to regain muscle once it's gone. This links in to my earlier point about losing muscle mass.. You can reverse the effects! It's never too late!

  • Resistance machines are better than free weights.. Well.. no. Machines are great for someone starting out and getting used to a level of resistance along a fixed path of movement (and limiting the risk of injury) but that's about it.  Free weights recruit more of the muscle (or muscle groups) so free weights trumps resistance machines all day long!

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Cardio is hardio.. Just kidding, it's great if you're using it for the right reasons!  Here are some benefits:

  • You will improve your lung efficiency which in conjuction with improving your heart efficiency (hence cardio) Improves the overall efficiency of your body.

  • You can lower your blood pressure and also help to lower the total (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.

  • Helps to burn calories. Ok, bit of a no brainer this one!

  • It can decrease the effects of anxiety and stress! Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress, which can also help with the treatment of depression.

  • You can decrease your resting heart rate, increase your energy levels and improve your day to day performance.

Dispelling a popular myth:

  • The more cardio you do and the longer you spend on the treadmill (bike/rower/whatever), the faster you will lose weight.  Sorry but this one's just not true!

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