It is widely known that population health decreases with age, along with poor nutrition behaviours, stress, lack of exercise, and amongst numerous other factors. A person with such traits are in a high risk category of chronic and debilitating illnesses, as well as a early death. This is not to say that a particular person will definitely die from a chronic illness early, but they are at risk.
In Australia, health expenditure was estimated at 180 billion dollars. High blood pressure was the highest reported chronic disease, followed by depression, arthritis, asthma and diabetes. The cost of treating chronic diseases in Australia was reported to be 10.9 billion dollars. This estimate excludes people who have private health insurance.
The point being for this article is that some of these chronic illnesses can be prevented with good nutrition and resistance training.
Benefits of resistance training can reduce chronic illnesses, improve self esteem, reduce stress, treat low back pain, improve muscle mass and bone density, just to name a few.
High blood pressure: studies have shown that blood pressure can be reduced and controlled with resistance exercise when performed regularly. The outcome of studies shows that there was a reduction in systolic blood pressure. American College of Sports Medicine reports a decrease in triglycerides and cholesterol, when individuals followed a resistance training program.
Depression: improvements were observed in individuals with depression,low self esteem, mood disturbance, fatigue and tension in a 10 week study. The outcome of this study showed 80% of participants no longer had clinical depression and self-esteem was enhanced amongst individuals with cancer, cardiac illnesses, women and both older and younger adults.
Resistance exercises has been shown to reduce low back pain, arthritic discomfort and fibromyalgia pain. Glycaemic control, insulin sensitivity and weight loss are also tired with significant improvements with resistance training. Thus the important factors in preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes.
The roller coaster effect from fat gain that may lead to diabetes and heart disease, then may migrate to Alzheimer’s disease and all cause mortality.
Effective resistance exercise regime must be performed for at least 20 minutes 3 times per week. Planning is most paramount. I generally perform my exercise routine prior to leaving home in the mornings, only because you never know what will happen throughout the day. Some people prefer to exercise before or after dinner. You just need to find or allocate time and stick with it. It then will develop into a behaviour and you will find this will become automatic.
AHIW. Chronic disease and associated risk factors in Australia. www.AIHW.gov.au
American College of Sports Medicine. Exercise and physical activity for older adults. Sci Sports Exercise. 2009,41.
Westcott. W 2015. Build muscle, improve health: Benefits associated with resistance exercise. ACSM Health and Fitness Journal. 19(4):22-2