Diet and Exercise for Life – Part 4

Exercising your heart but not your musculoskeletal system is like changing the oil in your car without putting air in the tires. Last month we talked about the importance of diversity and started with aerobic exercise. Here are the often-overlooked benefits to resistance training:

  • Essential to increasing lean-to-fat body mass ratio
  • Essential for maintenance of bone density
  • Muscle balance for injury prevention
  • Variety to keep interest
  • Avoidance of repetitive motion injury
  • Ability to perform aerobically (two birds with one stone)

I prefer to use the term “resistance training” rather than “weight-lifting”. In fact, no weights are required to have an effective resistance workout. Of course, mixing different forms of resistance training is ideal. Here are some of the choices:

  • Your own body weight (push-ups, pull-ups, squats)
  • Resistance bands
  • Dumbbells
  • Barbells
  • Household items

Again, for the sake of variety, try to mix these different types of motion:

  • Single-joint (e.g. biceps curl)
  • Multi-joint (e.g. push-up, bench press)
  • Compound (e.g. dumbbell curl to shoulder press)
  • Functional (e.g. many kettle bell exercises)

Each session can be organized in one of the following ways:

  • Body part
  • Push vs. pull
  • Full body

Try taking a little break from convention. You don’t always have to run to become a better runner. You don’t always have to lift heavy weights to become stronger. Consistency, variety, and good technique will yield dividends for life.