Why Resistance Training Is Crucial To Holistic Wellness

July 31, 2017

After helping hundreds of organizations establish wellness programs, we ‘ve seen a lot of companies achieve culture change through effective long-term wellness initiatives. However, there is one aspect that is consistently missing across nearly every wellness program: resistance training.

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When considering resistance training, it should go beyond simply doing push-ups or using exercise bands. The truly lasting and impactful benefits of resistance training are achieved through a consistent and long-term program of weighted exercises with planned progression. So, what are the benefits of weighted resistance training?

1. The Most Effective Anti-Aging Solution 
Sarcopenia is the loss of lean muscle mass that the body experiences with age (sounds scary, doesn’t it?). Weight training is the best way to combat Sarcopenia and aging. The loss of muscle mass and strength from Sarcopenia leads to loss of functional abilities and increases the risk of an accident, such as a fall.
 

2. Milk Isn’t The Only Bone Enhancer
Osteoporosis, the weakening of bone matter, is another common aging-related condition. It should come as no surprise here that resistance training is a great way to combat this. “Although bone will respond to many types of training programs, especially those with high strain such as jumping or running, it does appear that resistance training provides the greatest osteogenic (increase in bone mineral density) effect.” - ACSM

3. Lose Fat Faster
It is widely believed that the most effective means by which to lose body fat is to do endless hours of cardio and starve yourself. Not only is this wildly inaccurate, but it is honestly unpleasant and unsustainable. Trying to lose fat without implementing resistance training as a staple of your routine is an exercise in futility. Most people know that an increased metabolism means greater calorie burn and therefore less fat storage/increased fat removal. While cardiovascular training certainly increases one’s metabolism at the time of the activity and for a short while afterwards, it does very little towards creating permanent increases in your base metabolic rate (the rate at which the body uses energy while at rest to keep vital functions going, such as breathing and keeping warm).
 
Having a greater base metabolic rate means that your body will use up more of the calories that you eat and therefore store less fat over the long-term, which is far more effective than only burning extra calories through short bouts with cardio. How do you increase your base metabolic rate? Having more muscle, which will consume more calories to keep the tissue alive and functioning, will greatly increase your base metabolic rate. What’s the only way to increase lean muscle mass? Resistance training.
 
3. Your Heart Will Appreciate It
Up until quite recently, many doctors instructed populations with an increased risk of heart disease to stay away from resistance training. However, updated research over the past decade has shown that resistance training is by far one of the most effective ways to treat and prevent heart disease through a variety of effects. First and foremost, as covered in the previous point, resistance training is highly effective for keeping low body fat over the long-term; of course. This is key, as one of the greatest risks for heart disease is being overweight. Also, resistance training improves blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and generally lowers the stress put on the heart via weight training-specific strengthening of internal tissue and function.

 

Takeaways
These are only a few of the most important benefits of resistance training, but there are many more. So, how can you put this into effect for your employee population?
 
  • Hire a certified professional to teach your employees about the benefits of resistance training, how to implement it in their lives, and run a class to show them how to perform exercises correctly. Wellable covers all of this with our Services Solutions. A member of the team is even a powerlifter!
  • Construct a wellness program that rewards employees for incorporating resistance training into their health routine; steps are not the only activity! Wellable accomplishes this in two distinct ways: 1. Our geo location check-in integration allows users to achieve points in a challenge by checking in to a gym, boxing studio, cycle studio, and much more. This allows employees to achieve points in their preferred manner rather than having to compete on just steps. 2. Our Special Activities feature allows organizations to reward employees for attending educational seminars, utilizing one-on-one health coaching, or participating in a resistance training class by utilizing a verification code to ensure that only the participants are rewarded.

For some easy and clear guidelines on resistance training, check out this brochure created by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Topics: Wellness


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