Staying active throughout your life is as close as you’ll likely get to the fountain of youth. More specifically, weight training will improve your quality of life from strengthening your body and mind to increasing flexibility, and the number of calories you burn.

“Doing something a day is better then doing nothing. Everyone starts and started somewhere,” encourages Courtney Vetter, Owner of Waterfront Fitness & Pilates in Barrie. Make sure you don’t rush into your exercise and have a spotter to ensure you’re doing it correctly.

Start with weight training you enjoy such as group classes, or one-on-one training. “This is always a good starting point.

Not just for the pure enjoyment of the activity, but the consistency you’ll put into doing it. That consistency over time will create momentum and compound interest in your health that’ll last a lifetime. Find someone who can teach you and knows what they’re doing. There’s a lot of obscurity in the fitness world and you need to do your homework on who you choose as your teacher or coach. Start slow and steady. Be patient with your progress. Don’t worry about what the other person next to you is doing. Make it fun!” explains Tom Swales, Physiotherapist/Strength Coach/Clinic Owner at Concept of Movement Sports Performance & Rehabilitation Centre in Barrie.

There’s a misconception weight training will bulk you up, but it requires eating lots of food, stimulating muscle damage, lifting frequently, and causing metabolic stress. Plus, women have 10 – 20 times less testosterone than men, so bulking up is tough, says Swales.

“Listen to your body! If your body isn’t feeling it, please don’t lift heavy, or choose a different way of training, or take a rest day” advises Vetter.

Muscle mass naturally decreases as we age. Resistance training can prevent and reverse this muscle loss. “The tension and compression produced by the resistance of external weights, and the pulling from the muscles and tendons causes a much-needed bending in the long bones that helps to stimulate bone formation and help prevent the onset of osteoporosis.

Weight training and increasing overall strength is correlated to a decreased risk of falls, increase in longevity, and greater resiliency to injury,” educates Swales. A 15-year study concluded strength training is significantly associated with decreased overall mortality. 

You’ll improve your posture, stress management, relaxation, concentration, increase your lung capacity, tone your abdomen, lower back, hips, and buttocks. Also, eat a well-balanced diet, says Vetter. “High protein foods are very important for gaining muscle. Carbohydrates and fats are also necessary sources of energy. This fuels your brain.”

Swales says, “The best advice I can give is to see a nutritionist or dietician who can educate you on what may be best for your unique body type, genetic background, and lifestyle. Some form of assessment or movement screen should be done prior to lifting any weights so you know what your starting point is and if there are any imbalances in your body that may predispose you to an injury.”

Waterfront Fitness + Pilates

Concept of Movement Sports Performance & Rehabilitation Centre

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