What is Weight Bearing Exercise?
Weight bearing exercise is often defined as any exercise done in a standing position where the muscles and bones work against gravity. However, the definition has expanded to include upper body weight-bearing as well, such as push-ups and pull-ups. Running, jogging, strength training and yoga are all great examples of weight bearing exercises.
Although swimming and cycling are effective cardiovascular workouts and build strength in a different way, they are not considered weight-bearing as the water and the bike support your body weight.
1. Form Stronger Bones and Prevent Bone Loss
Bone is living tissue, which is constantly being absorbed and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn’t keep up with the removal of old bone (Mayo Clinic).
While this can affect men and women, post-menopausal women have the highest risk. Diet, dietary supplements and exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise, can help stop or slow down the loss of bone density and build strong bones.
According to a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, 12 weeks of resistance training increased growth hormone, estrogen, parathyroid hormone and testosterone compared to the control group in young sedentary women.
2. Don’t Forget About Muscles and Metabolism
Muscles are active tissues and women tend to lose 5-7lbs of muscle every decade, if they are not doing some sort of strength training or weight bearing exercise.
Decreased muscle mass slows down metabolism, so to keep the calorie fires burning, women must maintain or increase lean muscle mass.
While aerobic exercise has many great health benefits, weight bearing exercises are the key to strong muscles and a healthy metabolism.
3. Improves Glucose Metabolism and Lowers Cholesterol
Studies show that weight bearing exercise can improve how the body absorbs glucose which is key in preventing adult onset diabetes.
In addition, blood lipid profiles have shown significant improvements with lower cholesterol levels after several weeks of strength training. This can greatly reduce the chance of heart attacks.
4. Improves Brain Function
A study conducted in British Columbia showed significant improvements in cognitive performance and brain function with older female participants who engaged in strength training programs.
This included better problem solving, decision making and associative memory. While more testing needs to be conducted, this is a positive step towards slowing down the effects of Alzheimer’s.
5. You’ll feel better!
Women are never too old or too young to start incorporating weight bearing exercise into their lifestyle.
According to a study published in the Journal of Women and Aging, researchers found that twenty-three women who completed a resistance training program three or four days per week rated reported improved quality of life across all ages.
Oh, by the way
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