In the modern era, exercise in different forms using a variety of approaches is one of the most important contributors to positive health and wellbeing. It is necessary for individuals of all ages, from children to elderly persons, to participate in different types of physical activity, from walking and jogging to sports and cycling. However, weight training is perhaps one of the most important contributors to health because it promotes strength and flexibility, along with greater muscle mass and increased metabolism. From a health-based perspective, weight training is critical in conjunction with proper nutrition in preserving health and wellbeing in children and adults. The ability and willingness of individuals to participate in weight training is an effective means of promoting optimal health for individuals across all age groups. The following discussion will address the role of weight training in the life span and its impact on health, including the prevention of illness and overall body strength to promote positive health outcomes.
Weight training impacts individuals in different ways, depending on genetics, age, health status, nutrition, and other factors. The contributions of weight training to overall health may be significant under some conditions and may lead to the achievement of weight and strength goals. Furthermore, in conjunction with cardiovascular activities, weight training is likely to be effective in supporting the desired results. For example, older patients at a higher risk of bone disease or weakness may benefit from weight training to improve strength, flexibility, and balance, as noted in a study conducted by Marques et.al (117). Therefore, for older men and women, weight training provides numerous benefits and enables this group to achieve greater strength and flexibility that is often lost with age (Marques et.al 117).
For the younger population, weight training also provides significant benefits in addition to standard physical education in schools and in the home environment (Faigenbaum and Myer 161). Through participation in resistance training, these activities are likely to be effective in improving overall strength and flexibility, particularly for adolescent youth with weight concerns and those who participate in organized sports (Faigenbaum and Myer 161). It is important to develop strategies that will consider the age, height and weight of these individuals to prevent muscle strain or excessive harm to bones, muscles, and joints (Faigenbaum and Myer 161). For this group, it is also likely that weight training will have a unique impact relative to the experiences of adults and elderly persons who also participate in these activities at a consistent level (Faigenbaum and Myer 161).
For those experiencing different forms of chronic illness, such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes, weight training is likely to have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing, particularly when these activities are conducted regularly. In particular, it is important to recognize that weight training may have a positive impact on the stability of blood sugar levels, particularly when these activities are conducted in conjunction with aerobic exercise (Grontved et.al 1306). It is known that “resistance training increases the glycolytic capacity and promotes type II muscle fiber abundance…resistance training favors increased lean body mass and muscle strength and growth, which enhances the capacity of glucose use” (Grontved et.al 1311). Therefore, it is likely that those with type 2 diabetes will benefit from these exercises and the ability to gain much-needed muscle strength and flexibility that will support the stability of blood sugar levels (Grontved et.al, 1311).
Those persons who participate in weight training on a consistent basis and who have been diagnosed with other types of illnesses, including cancer, are likely to benefit from these exercises when they perform at optimal levels in promoting greater quality of life for these individuals (Ferrer et.al 32). Patients with advanced stage cancers or who are unable to manage the risks and side effects of treatment may not experience the same type of benefits; however, those with treatable cancer and with greater strength and less fatigue may benefit significantly from weight training under specific conditions (Ferrer et.al 32). These opportunities also have a tremendous impact on the overall quality of life of cancer patients, particularly when they are able to participate in these activities on a regular basis (Ferrer et.al 32). When strength is optimal, then the advantages are realized more prominently than for patients who do not possess the strength to perform these exercises (Ferrer et.al 32).
Some individuals participate in weight training on a regular basis to become competitive in sports. This type of weight training is at a more advanced level and is not recommended for the average person. At the same time, it is essential to develop strategies that allow individuals to participate in these activities to promote optimal safety when performing exercises. For weight training enthusiasts, it is very important to identify these concerns and to take the steps that are necessary to be safe with these exercises at all times. If these precautions are not taken, there is a much greater risk of injury, which many include muscle strains and tears, amongst other complications.
For males and females of all ages, participating in weight training activities as part of a combined exercise program which includes aerobic activity is perhaps most effective in providing the desired benefits. These exercises support the ongoing development of new exercises and procedures to improve strength and flexibility for all participants, regardless of age. In many cases, weight training is conducted with the expert guidance of a personal trainer to encourage maximum safety when conducting these movements. It is essential to train individuals regarding the proper use of equipment and the appropriate techniques at all times so that there is a reduced risk of injury. It is also important for experts to develop new strategies that will encourage the use of free weights and different types of equipment in the home environment or in public gym settings. These techniques must evolve using expert knowledge and guidance of muscles, joints, bones, and tendons to prevent unnecessary injuries as much as possible. Furthermore, it is essential to recognize individual limitations so that these injuries are minimized, as there are significant benefits associated with recognizing these limits.
The importance of weight training also demonstrates the value of engagement in activities that benefit the body and overall health in different ways. It is necessary for individuals to participate in weight training but to not go beyond their own limitations with these exercises. There are considerable advantages to weight training in conjunction with aerobic exercise, particularly when this training is conducted properly and with the necessary safety requirements in mind. These elements also provide a significant opportunity to achieve optimal health and wellbeing, regardless of the age group. At the same time, it is essential to promote physical strength and flexibility by participating in these exercises so that children and adults achieve greater quality of life through participation in these exercises on a regular basis. Experts in weight training must continue to develop new strategies and techniques to encourage positive results that also demonstrate greater flexibility and strength in all activities. With these contributions, it is likely that benefits will be optimal and effective in supporting overall health and wellbeing in the desired manner.
Faigenbaum, Avery D., and Myer, Gregory D. “Pediatric resistance training: benefits, concerns, and program design considerations.” Current Sports Medicine Reports, 9.3(2010): 161-168.
Ferrer, Rebecca A., Huedo-Medina, Tania B., Johnson, Blair T., Ryan, Stacey, and Pescatello, Linda S. “Exercise interventions for cancer survivors: a meta-analysis of quality of life outcomes.” Annals of Behavioral Medicine 41.1(2011): 32-47.
Grontved, Anders, Rimm, Eric B., Willet, Walter C., Andersen Lars B., and Hu, Frank B. “A prospective study of weight training and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitis in men. Archives of Internal Medicine 172.17(2012): 1306-1312.
Marques, Elisa A., Mota, Jorge, Machado, Leandro, Sousa, Filipa, Coelho, Margarida, Moreira, Pedro, and Carvalho, Joana. “Multicomponent training program with weight-bearing exercises elicits favorable bone density, muscle strength, and balance adaptations in older women.” Calficied Tissue International 88.2(2011): 117-129.