When most people think of resistance training, they often associate it with building muscle and achieving an aesthetically pleasing physique. While it’s true that resistance training can help sculpt the body, its benefits go far beyond physical appearance. Today, we’ll explore the often-overlooked importance of resistance training for some critical conditions that impact overall well-being.
Reason Number 1: Resistance training Improves Your Bone Health
Strong bones are the foundation of a healthy, active life, and resistance training plays a pivotal role in maintaining and even enhancing bone health. As we age, our bone density tends to decrease, making us more susceptible to fractures and osteoporosis. Resistance training, which includes exercises such as weight lifting and bodyweight exercises, stimulates bone growth and increases bone density.
How it works:
- Weight-bearing exercises create stress on the bones, prompting the body to strengthen them.
- This stress leads to the formation of new bone tissue and increases bone mineral density.
- By consistently incorporating resistance training into your routine, you can mitigate the natural age-related decline in bone health.
Reason No. 2: Helps regulate blood sugar
Type 2 diabetes is a prevalent and concerning health condition associated with impaired blood sugar regulation. Resistance training offers a powerful way to manage and even prevent this condition.
How it works:
- Resistance training improves insulin sensitivity, making it easier for your body to use glucose effectively.
- It helps control blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
- Regular resistance training can also lead to reductions in visceral fat, another key factor in diabetes prevention.
Reason No. 3: Resistance Training Helps Build a Healthier Heart
Heart health is of paramount importance as it is the cornerstone of our overall well-being. A healthy heart ensures the efficient circulation of blood, delivering oxygen and nutrients to every cell in our body while removing waste products. It plays a vital role in sustaining our vitality and longevity. By maintaining good heart health, we reduce the risk of debilitating conditions like heart disease, hypertension, and stroke.
How it works:
- Strength training helps lower blood pressure, reducing the strain on your heart.
- It improves cholesterol profiles by increasing “good” HDL cholesterol and decreasing “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Enhanced heart health leads to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes.
Reason No. 4: Can Help Improve Mental Health
Physical health is closely linked to mental health, and resistance training has a profound impact on mental well-being.
How it works:
- Resistance training releases endorphins, natural mood lifters that can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- It promotes better sleep, reducing the risk of sleep disorders.
- Increased self-esteem and self-confidence, often associated with improved physical fitness, can positively affect mental health.
How A Naturopath Can Level Up Your Resistance Training
Integrating naturopathic principles and practices with resistance training can further enhance its effectiveness and the overall well-being of individuals. Naturopathic doctors are well-versed in holistic and natural approaches to healthcare, and they can play a crucial role in supporting and optimizing resistance training regimens.
Here’s how naturopathic doctors can provide valuable support for your resistance training
1. Personalized Nutrition Guide
Naturopathic doctors can tailor nutrition plans to align with your resistance training goals. They can recommend specific dietary choices to optimize muscle growth and recovery, and they may also suggest supplements if necessary. This personalized approach ensures that your body receives the nutrients it needs to thrive during and after your workouts.
2. Natural Pain Management
Engaging in strength training can sometimes lead to muscle soreness and occasional injuries. Naturopathic doctors can offer natural pain management strategies, such as herbal remedies, acupuncture, or physical therapy, to alleviate discomfort and promote quicker recovery.
3. Hormone Balancing
Hormones play a significant role in muscle growth and overall health. Naturopathic doctors can evaluate hormone levels and offer natural interventions to help balance them. This is particularly important for individuals aiming to achieve specific resistance training goals or address hormonal imbalances associated with aging.
4. Stress Management
Stress, whether from daily life or intense workouts, can negatively impact your overall health. Naturopathic doctors excel in providing stress management techniques, including meditation, relaxation exercises, and lifestyle recommendations that can enhance your resilience and well-being.
Training goes beyond looks, offering an array of health benefits. By incorporating it into your routine, you can strengthen bones, regulate blood sugar, enhance heart health, and boost mental well-being. These advantages promote longevity, vitality, and a holistic sense of well-being. Naturopathic care further elevates this journey, fostering physical strength and overall health. Whether you aim to improve bone health, manage blood sugar, support cardiovascular well-being, or enhance mental health, naturopathic doctors provide personalized guidance. Remember, resistance training is an investment in long-term health, not just physique. Partnering with a naturopathic doctor to support your training will help you redefine fitness, enriching your life in ways that extend beyond mere appearance and nurture a profound sense of well-being.
Dr. Nana-Adjoa Bourne, ND
Dr. Bourne is a Naturopathic Doctor and certified Sports Nutritionist at Axis Therapy & Performance located in Toronto. She works from the inside-out, supporting performance optimization and injury recovery alongside physical rehabilitation. She also incorporates IV Therapy into her treatment protocols
Axis Therapy & Performance – Physiotherapy, Chiropractor, RMT Scarborough
1585 Markham Rd, Unit 308
Scarborough, ON M1B 2W1
Axis Therapy & Performance – Physiotherapy, Chiropractor, RMT, Naturopath Riverdale
377 Broadview Ave, Unit 101
Toronto, ON M4K 2M7