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Benefits of weight bearing exercise

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. The stage before osteoporosis is called osteopenia.

Oestrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. This is why the chance of developing osteoporosis increases as women reach menopause.

How can weight bearing exercise help?

Weight-bearing exercise, especially resistance exercise, appears to have the greatest effects on bone mineral density.

Numerous longitudinal studies have examined the effects of exercise training on bone health in children, adolescents, and young, middle-aged and older adults. There is compelling evidence that routine physical activity, especially weight-bearing and impact exercise, prevents bone loss associated with aging.

In a meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT), exercise training programs were found to prevent or reverse almost 1% of bone loss per year in the lumbar spine and femoral neck in both pre- and postmenopausal women (Wolff et al, 1999).

In addition, exercise training appears to significantly reduce the risk and number of falls and the risk and incidence of fractures is also reduced among active people (Carter et al 2001, Gregg et al 2000).

weight-bearing-exercisePreliminary evidence from a high quality trail indicates that exercise training is effective in improving bone density in older women (75–85 years of age) with low bone mineral density (Liu- Ambrose et al, 2004). In this 6 month trail, 98 women were randomly assigned to participate in resistance training ( n = 32), agility training ( n = 34) or stretching (n = 32). The greatest increase in cortical bone density were observed in the resistance training group, followed by the agility training group. The stretching group experienced losses in cortical bone density.

In Summary:

Regular weight bearing physical activity appears to be important in preventing loss of bone mineral density and osteoporosis, particularly in postmenopausal women.

How we can help optimise your bone health:

  1. Physiotherapist lead assessment, treatment and guidance on appropriate weight bearing exercises
  2. Pain relieving modalities (acupuncture, floatation therapy, manual therapy, massage therapy) to reduce pain to allow the individual to participate in regular weight bearing activity
  3. Personal training

More Information:

Please read the full article for more information. Warburton et al, 2006. Health benefits of physical activity. CMAJ.

lisaStay Healthy
Lisa

Blog post by Lisa
Senior Physiotherapist
MSc MACP MHCPC MCSP 

Emma James Physio

 

Don’t be scared to weight train, Ladies!!!

Happy new year to you dear readers,

Working in a gym environment I get a lot of comments from the lady gym members about not wanting to do weights because they don’t want to bulk up. I do chuckle to myself whenever I here this comment, as it’s such a pre-conceived misconception that simply isn’t true! As a personal trainer, I believe it is important for people to understand the importance of weight training, so I am going to explain the benefits of including weights into your fitness programme.

If you include 2-3 weight sessions a week it will help with your weight loss because weight training will increase your metabolism and therefore burn more calories throughout the day. When we are pounding the streets doing our running or cardio in the gym, we are working hard and burning calories, but when we stop, the calorie burning slows down.

Weights are important because while we are doing weights, we are burning calories and will continue to burn calories throughout the day even after the exercises have stopped. The reason for this is that weights build muscle and the more muscle we have, the more fat we burn.

So in conclusion, someone who doesn’t do weights will not burn as many calories throughout the day compared to someone who adds weights to their workout.

On top of this, muscle is much denser and more compact and takes up less space than fat, whereas fat is soft and squishy, so therefore takes up more space within the body.

The more muscle content you have, the better your body shape will be compared to someone who has no muscle content.

Adding Weights to your programme

When adding weights to your workout ladies, please do not take it to mean that you only do light weights with high repetitions. This type of weight training uses your slow twitch fibres, the same as you use for your cardio. I suggest you use heavy weights with low repetitions to change your programme around. I promise you, you will not bulk up, you will tone up!

To add, one of the reasons behind this is that we do not have enough of the male hormone testosterone to get big and bulky. Your diet would have to be very different to a normal healthy balanced eating plan if you wanted to bulk up.

So, in a nutshell, there is no way you will bulk up, so don’t be scared of lifting weights.

Tracking your progress

When tracking your progress, I say ditch the scales and use a tape measure instead, or try a pair of jeans or a jacket that are tight on you and then, hopefully, after following a weight training programme accompanied with healthy eating and cardio, you will notice a difference and your clothes will start to feel looser on you.

To summarise: along with a healthy balanced diet you can combine lifting weights and cardio and you will see the pounds falling off and see an improvement in your body shape and muscle tone.

Remember: The more muscles we have, the more calories we will burn – even when resting.

kerry-gym-managerMore info on my personal training can be found on our website

Kerry
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Personal Trainer & Gym Manager at Emma James Physio 

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