Why health guidelines recommend strength training twice a week for all adults

Here’s the thing about exercise: walking and running isn’t enough…

Sure those things will help your fitness, but if that’s all you do, you miss out on a long list of benefits (a quick scroll of this page gives you an idea of just how much you have to gain).

But the problem is that more than 80% of adults do not engage in any form of muscle-strengthening activity. That means 4 in 5 people aren’t as strong and healthy as they could be.

So when it comes to exercise, you need to think of it this way: you need to look after your muscles, joints and bones through strength training, as well as your heart through cardio.

When you look at it from that point of view, it’s clear that you need to be doing more than just one type of exercise.

Researchers point out why in this article on The Conversation. And below I’ve summarised their findings for you…

When you partake in strength training, you reduce your risk of:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Physical disability
  • Heart disease
  • Poor musculoskeletal health
  • Poor mental health

In the case of older Australians, you also gain the following benefits:

  • Maintain mobility and daily physical functioning
  • Prevent or delay frailty and falls
  • Keep living independently for longer

And, at the risk of sounding like an infomercial, that’s not all.

When compared to cardio exercise, researchers have found that weight training is more beneficial for:

  • Bone and joint health
  • Ability to perform daily activities, such as getting in and out of a chair, bathing and dressing
  • Slowing the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength

So if strength training can keep us healthy, why aren’t we all doing it?

Well, one of the reasons researchers point to in the article is that strength gyms are ‘hyper-masculine’ places and strength training activities are associated with excessive muscle gain.

And they’re not wrong, because for many years I’ve struggled to find a strength training gym where the members aren’t half my age. Even though I have been doing barbell training for decades and know what I am doing with the equipment, I don’t always feel as though I ‘fit in’. 

So things need to change, and that’s why Groundwork Fitness exists. There are no body builders here or Hulk-like trainers screaming until they’re red in the face.

You need to look after yourself, and you need an inclusive place where you learn proper strength training techniques under expert guidance, so you don’t risk injuring yourself.

Because when you learn how to lift properly, you get stronger. And when you get stronger you reduce the risk of hurting yourself.

So we’re here in Carrington, Newcastle. We train everyone from grandmothers to parents whose kids have become independent, finally giving them time to start looking after themselves.

Take a look at our method to learn how strength training can support your everyday life.

– Karl

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