Article Contributor: Andrew
You might be thinking that strength training just helps you build muscles in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
But, many experts are now saying that doing more strength training is just as important as doing your normal cardio exercise routines.
Although in the past it was advised that seniors in the UAE should increase their strength training this advice now applies to everyone – both for fitness and prevention of certain conditions too.
Whether you train every day or just a couple of times per week in Abu Dhabi or Dubai, adding more strength training can be helpful.
In this article we take a look at 7 great benefits of strength training, why these are important and also what strength exercises you should look at doing.
You need strong bones and strong muscles – no doubt about that. Strength training isn’t something you just need to consider as you age. Regular strength training as part of your exercise regime is great to keep you toned and reduce the natural loss of lean muscle.
If you are confused about what methods of strength training would be good for you, the UAE Personal Trainers website has the best selection of strength training personal trainers in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.
It’s never too late to start strength training either. Even for seniors in the UAE strength training is so important to make sure you stay mobile and flexible. If you need to find out more speak with a senior fitness training expert in your area.
Let’s take a look as some of the best reasons for adding, or increasing strength training in your daily or weekly fitness routine.
Keeping your bones strong and healthy should be at the top of your list. As we age we tend to lose some bone density and unless we regularly work on our strength training this can problem can increase.
According to a leading article about bone strength on Harvard Health bone mass can reduce at a rate of up to 1% a year after 40.
While this doesn’t seem like a large number you can see how this can increase as we get older.
While you might be aware that muscle building helps to keep your muscles strong and healthy you might not be aware that unless you work on increasing your bone strength too you could run into problems when you get older.
Although there are many conditions that might effect bone health and therefore how much strength training you can do, for most of us an increase in strength training will only help.
When you spend more time on strength training in Abu Dhabi or Dubai you are in effect decreasing your risk of bone mass reduction. There are even some studies that suggest strength training can increase your bone mass over a period of time – a win win.
Strength training for bone health is ideal. It’s ideal because it allows you to target different part of your body. For example, the hips, spine, wrists and shoulders. What this means for you is that you’re less likely to suffer from problems as you get older.
There are many beneficial strength training exercises that you can do, these include:
It’s important to note that although all of these exercise types can help you with bone health they need to be increased gradually. What does this mean? It means that like any exercise you need to build up your resistance level gradually to prevent injury.
Ultimately, bone strength exercises, when done correctly should form part of your fitness regime and it’s never too late to start – even for seniors.
While aerobics based exercises are still advised to help you improve and keep your heart healthy many professional agree that increasing your strength training can also help.
According to a great article in Medicine and Science when you do more strength training you are also helping to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and other circulatory conditions.
Obesity is also a disease suffered by men and women of all ages in Abu Dhabi in Dubai. Although the more traditional ways of losing weight (cardio, HIIT) work well for many people it has also be found that working on your strength also provides weight loss benefits.
One of the primary reasons many people start a new fitness programs is because their goal is weight loss. In fact, on the UAE Personal Trainers website, weight loss personal trainers are also in demand.
You know the normal routine. You want to lose weight so you start doing more cardio exercise, Crossfit, Bootcamp and even jogging but what many people don’t realise is that strength training also boosts your metabolism which in turn helps you burn fat.
Many people find that cardio training for weight loss and fat loss also reduces muscle size too. Although a professional personal trainer can help you avoid muscle loss when doing cardio one of the best ways to prevent this is to add more strength training to your workouts.
When you exercise your muscles need more energy. Without getting too technical the energy comes from your muscles ability to break down fat and carbs with the help of oxygen (oxygen is increased when working out).
Fat loss occurs ‘after’ your workout finishes thanks to the ‘after-burn effect’ In simple terms the after-burn effect helps because even after your workout your body is still pumped with oxygen which in turn is still breaking down stored fats.
This article is not designed to provide medical advice if you have diabetes or other conditions in which you have a problem with insulin levels.
However, it has been said in several studies that moderate strength training like uphill waking, weightlifting and resistance training can help reduce insulin levels. This happens because when you are working out your muscles are using more glucose. Over time this can mean these lower blood sugar levels can help insulin in your body work better.
The term inflammation is often misinterpreted or misunderstood. We know for example if we pull a muscle doing a workout the muscle is inflamed but inflammation occurs within the body too.
Chronic inflammation can cause many problems and eventually lead to disease. Inflammation is caused by the bodies natural way of dealing with pain, injury and even stress.
When you do more strength training your are improving the way the body reacts to inflammation because the body will naturally provide more anti-inflammatory chemicals.
So far we’ve looked at the many ‘indirect’ ways strength training helps with your help and fitness but how important is it to be stronger?
Strength isn’t just about how much weight you can lift or how many people you can beat at arm wrestling.
Without strength you find it hard to even do everyday tasks like walking up stairs, day to day activities and much more.
Just as cardio is important for heart health, having an overall better level of strength will improve many other aspects of your day to day living.
Strength is important when we are young but for various reasons we tend to lose strength as we age. This is why it’s important to continue strength training if you currently work out.
If you are new to training and exercise it’s vitally important that strength training becomes part of your routine. Even if you are a senior you can work on your strength (legs, back, arms) by doing more gentle exercises and building your strength up gradually.
Being strong also helps if the unfortunate situation arises when you find yourself ill for any length of time. When you are strong it will be easier and quicker to recover.
You might be strong but that doesn’t mean your endurance level is good. Put it this way, you might be able to lift 100lbs but how many times can you do it?
Endurance is the ability to continue training for longer. For example, long distance runners build up their endurance levels for years, this enables them to run and run and run.
When you train progressively over a period of time you are in effect getting the best of both worlds, you are increasing your strength ‘and’ increasing your endurance.
As an example, let’s say you like lifting weights. When you first start your ability to lift heavier weights is restricted but this is only restricted by your strength. You can increase your strength and therefore your ability or lift heavier weights by adding more reps to your workouts. But, what you are also doing by adding more reps and sets (at a given weight) is not only increased your strength but also your endurance too – more sets equals more endurance.
If you’ve ever felt a bit ‘wobbly’ when you stand up you probably need to improve your balance. Strength training can easily help you do that too.
Strength training tones and tightens the muscles. When you work on your legs, arms and core on a regularly basis you’ll find that with time your balance is greatly improved.
Pilates training in Abu Dhabi and Dubai provides excellent results when it comes to improving your balance because Pilates poses aim to train your core and improve your posture.
Other strength exercises to improve your balance include resistance training, lifting weights and even yoga.
Keeping a good balance is important for all ages but is especially important for seniors in the UAE because it helps them keep mobile and therefore independent.
Sleep! Surely strength training can’t help with that! Well, yes, it can and it does for many people.
You see like most exercises, when you train (regularly) you are in effect tiring yourself out. When you tire yourself out you sleep much better.
But, there is also a scientific side related to how strength training helps improve sleep. When you exercise (including strength training) your brain releases feel good chemicals that can aid in restful sleep. We’ll look at exactly how exercise benefits sleep in a more in-depth article.
And finally…. Strength training helps with self-esteem
Even if you exercise purely for health reasons, strength training can really give you a boost of self-esteem because strength training helps tone the body, reduce fat and even improve your skin. We all want to look and feel our best so add some more strength training to your routine from today.