Why Should I Do Strength Training?

"Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't." - Rikki Rogers
One thing we may not necessarily pay much attention to and take granted for is how much strength we actually need to use in order to have 'normal' movements in our daily lives. So what is strength training? A medical definition suggests that strength training is
"a system of physical conditioning in which muscles are exercised by being worked against an opposing force (as by lifting weights) to increase strength"
Physiotherapists are experts in helping clients to achieve their goals by identifying problems, resolving them and providing care, particularly in areas of musculoskeletal conditions. The Australian Physiotherapy Association describes what physiotherapists do:  
"Using advanced techniques and evidence-based care, physiotherapists assess, diagnose, treat and prevent a wide range of health conditions and movement disorders. Physiotherapy helps repair damage, reduce stiffness and pain, increase mobility and improve quality of life."

The benefits of strength training

Ageing is linked with decreased muscle mass, decreased bone density. Essentially, your body starts going downhill. However, evidence has clearly shown that strength training is associated with health benefits, including:
  • maintenance of functional abilities
  • promotion of bone health
  • prevention of osteoporosis, sarcopenia, lower- back pain, and other disabilities
There are other systemic benefits which can be gained from strength training, such as increasing your resting metabolic rate, decreasing your blood pressure and body fat percentage.

How can physiotherapists help me?

Physiotherapists undertake a manual muscle test to determine the 'strength' of a particular muscle. Other functional tests may include assessment of the way you perform a movement, for example, a squat. Once the physiotherapist has determined the underlying issue, they often begin to start 'strengthening' the muscle that is weak.

Click here to read an article on The Guardian which describes what strength training is about, and how it can help 'slow down' the process of your body's deterioration through age.    
Reference
Strength training. (n.d.). Retrieved March 17, 2018, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/strength training  
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