Whilst walking is a good form of exercise and we don’t want to downplay the importance of it, this modality will only get you half way in terms of your health and fitness. Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne  dive into why you should be doing more than just walking.

The benefits of walking

Walking is good aerobic activity to keep the heart healthy however it is not a substitute to providing a resistance to your muscles. Walking is an easy modality which can be done anywhere, anytime and it is good for mental health, catching some vitamin D, more energy expenditure helping for weight loss, lower your blood sugar levels and overall risk of diabetes, and many many more benefits.

However, along with the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines, an individual should be partaking in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, such as brisk walking, or more than 75 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity such as running, AND 2 resistance training sessions per week targeting all muscle groups.

What is strength training?

Strength training, also known as resistance training, is designed to improve muscular fitness by exercising a muscle or muscle groups against resistance which can be using your own body weight, free weights or machine weights. As we apply the resistance or load to the muscles, the muscle will adapt, and you can experience some delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) which are small microtears in the muscle, allowing the muscle to grow bigger and stronger.

Strength training is beneficial for:

  • Increasing muscle mass. Muscles are very important to support your skeleton. Increased muscle mass will enable you to lift heavier items, including activities of daily living, without injuring yourself. An Increase in muscle mass will also support and decrease the load on your joints, prolonging the need for joint replacements. And the more muscle you have, the more energy you burn at rest.
  • Increasing bone density. Although walking is beneficial for bone density in the lower limbs, it will not provide enough stimulus to the spine or upper body.
  • Strength training in circuits can increase your heart rate and achieve a cardiovascular effect, helping to decrease monotony of walking and/or push you into a higher intensity training zone. After all, our heart is a muscle, so we can be helping to build a stronger and fitter heart.

How can you incorporate strength training?

You don’t need to be making crazy changes to your weekly routine. There are some easy ways to incorporate some strength training to meet the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines. Gyms are an obvious modality, however as they are currently closed, you can be doing strength training in your home, out in the park or along your walks.

Some body weight exercises that you can do without any equipment include squats, push ups, step ups, calf raises and seated dips. If you have a resistance band then you can incorporate exercises like rows, bicep curls and resistance during squats. Or you can grab some cans from your pantry and do the exercises listed above.

As you can see, there are a number of ways that you can include strength training even if you don’t have equipment. The team at Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology are experts in delivering and providing you with a program that you can be doing anywhere, with little or all equipment. NO EXCUSES!

 

Longevity are currently available to service through home visits, outdoor sessions or online via Telehealth.

Call 1300 964 002 to enquire or get started today.

Written by Angela Vitucci