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Why do we need strength training?

One of my clients, John, had retired at 65 and felt driven to come and talk about his exercise needs because of something that had happened to him. John had lived the life of a very busy executive for 40 years with most of them spent sitting in a chair somewhere in the world. On retirement he had decided to do some of the things he had felt there was no time for during his ‘employed’ life. He and his wife decided to go on a leisurely cruise to New Zealand. While on a day trip in Christchurch, they were shown a road that had the claim of being the steepest road in the city. A couple of the younger members of the group suggested it might be fun to walk down the hill and John thought this would give him bit of exercise too. He reasoned that this might help him “earn” some points towards the calorific cruise meals and going down the hill would be a lot easier than going up, he thought, so he joined the youngsters. John was severely traumatised by what happened on the way down the hill. He started to go faster and faster and realised he was unable to control his speed. The muscles on the front of his legs had become so weak through chronic lack of use, compounded by age related muscle loss, that they had lost the ability to “put on the brakes”. John was saved from having a nasty fall by the young men grabbing his arms and hanging on, controlling his descent.

John signed up for an exercise programme on his return to Australia. Fifty percent of his programme was weight training which was designed to provide progressive resistance to gradually strengthen all his body, with special attention to leg strength. Currently John is much more aware of what he can do and tells me he feels stronger than he has ever been in his life. He can feel the difference in his muscles and in his joint stability and this gives him realistic confidence.

Strength training helps send back powerful messages to the brain which enhances our ability to stand upright instead of sinking into a posture more associated with old-age. It allows us to shift the weight of the body from one leg to the other safely when we move. This improved posture, combined with stable joints and toned muscles, makes falls less likely.

Life is much more fun when we are strong. I have owned the Green Apple Wellness Centre in Bald Hills for 35 years now and I know what keeps me happy, fit and strong. Phone 32611249 to book a time to chat with me about your needs. 


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