It is generally agreed upon that exercise is an important component of a healthy life.
Science has proven time and time again that workouts as little as 30 minutes help in improving mood, blood flow and even concentration of an average human being.
There are conflicting ideas though on what type of exercise to do and the protocols that should be followed. For today let’s talk about lifting weights as a means to exercise.
The purpose of weight training is to make the muscles strong by lifting equipment that has varying weight. There’s practically no downside to getting stronger in my opinion, and the stronger we get the healthier we eventually become.
Weight Training Equipment
In terms of the equipment that can be used, there are a number of options to choose from. Here are some of the most common ones:
1. Barbell/Dumbbell – These are probably the most popular pieces of equipment used in weight training. They are fundamentally the same thing in that the weight is placed on opposite sides of a handle and the lifter has to place his hands on the middle of the bar to lift. The barbell is the bigger version and requires two hands in order to be lifted while the dumbbell only requires one hand.
2. Kettlebell – These originated in ancient Russia and is known there as the “Giri”. It is basically a metal ball that has a handle on the top. The kettlebell is the equipment of choice if you are looking to do ballistic exercises such as the kettlebell swing. Since the kettlebell doesn’t have the ability to adjust its weight like a barbell/dumbbell, exercises are more based on repetition rather than scaling up in weight.
3. Exercise machines – Machines are a great alternative to barbells because it can simulate most of the exercises without the risk of compromising form. But since the exercises are assisted, the range of motion is not as free as using traditional weights. Also, as convenient as these machines are, their sheer size can be an issue for most people as most machines are huge.
Weight Training and its Relationship with Aging
Some folks are afraid to lift weights because they think that it might hurt them as they get older. This is FALSE.
In fact, weight training has shown to greatly benefit anyone regardless of age as it makes the body more resistant to injuries.
A common problem among the elderly is the fact that their bones gradually become brittle.
Weight training has been proven to help prevent osteoporosis, a condition of the bone that’s very common among people 50 years old and above. The stress provided by weight training stimulates the density of the bones and makes it more resistant to pressure.
The more people age the more they need to lift. It’s as simple as that. The benefits gained from lifting heavy (or any kind of weight) is too good to ignore. And for as long as the lifter practices proper form, there’s basically no reason why people shouldn’t do it.