Getting STRONG = Long & Healthy Life
The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more aware of the importance of staying healthy and fit, not only during this period but also in the long term.
At times like this when many people are at risk of getting the virus, we realise the importance of being healthy and having a strong immune system.
With all this talk about social distancing, home confinement, and taking extreme measures to avoid COVID-19, many forget that the best defence starts with lifestyles and prioritising health and fitness levels.
In the short term, there are certain precautionary steps everyone in society should be complying with to minimize the spread of the virus including; washing hands, using hand sanitizer, avoiding crowded areas, minimizing social activity and self-isolation.
However, these steps are only short term ways to avoid contracting COVID-19. Therefore, it’s important to look at the steps that can be developed for your long term benefit. These steps will aid in boosting your immune system so you can live a long and healthy life.
While there is no magic pill to stay immune and be guaranteed a long life, there are result-proven practices that everyone should have in their lives. These include:
• Daily exercise regime
• Well-balanced diet
• Adequate sleep
• Healthy lifestyle habits, reducing low levels of stress
As we all know these steps are pretty clear and well known. However, there is one step that is missing, which holds great significance, that is STRENGTH training.
The Importance of Strength Training
Anyone who has trained at Peak Health & Performance knows how we emphasize the importance of being physically strong and developing lean muscle.
We believe that strength is the mother of all fitness qualities.
You cannot maximize muscle growth, balance and stabilization, speed, power, or endurance without first being strong. Being strong and muscular plays an integral role in keeping yourself healthy, especially during challenging times like these, with the COVID-19 pandemic.
How Does Strength Training Boost Immunity?
Did you know poor lifestyle behaviours such as inactivity, poor diet, lack of quality sleep, and reducing daily stress levels attributes to 2/3 of the deaths in the United States each year?
Being healthy is a lifestyle, and it starts with being physically active. To be active you must have a minimal base of strength to get you through your activities of daily living, not to mention beginning a workout regimen.
To do the things you desire to do, whether it's going for a hike or going on a vacation, you must be physically capable of completing the task.
Research conducted by the University of Michigan showed that individuals with weaker muscles don’t typically live as long as their stronger peers. The study found that people with low muscle strength are 50% more likely to die earlier.
Bone loss is a major contributor to falls, leading to broken bones and extended hospital stays. Mechanical force on bone (resistance training) is essential for modelling and remodelling, processes that increase bone strength and mass.
Sarcopenia, or muscle loss due to aging, also contributes to falls. Having a greater amount of muscle mass allows you to be stronger, which increasing balance and stabilisation, not to mention the loss of independence, frailty, immobility, and fatigue.
Lean body mass helps combat obesity by increasing your basal metabolic rate, protects against diabetes and helps you become insulin sensitive.
Loss of this highly metabolic tissue is a major cause for a host of disease and chronic ailments due to a slowing metabolism. With the natural loss of muscle with aging comes inactivity; inactivity disrupts energy balance that subsequently leads to gains in body fat. Belly fat, in particular, is associated with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and elevated blood lipids.
Loss/Lack Of Muscle Mass
This is a primary contributing factor to chronic disease and mortality rates.
Depletion of muscle mass is incompatible with life; there is a strong association between muscle cell mass and survival in seriously ill individuals.
The greater your muscle mass the better the reservoir of proteins for the immune system to use at times of need. A decrease in metabolism due to muscle loss plays a key role in the genesis, and therefore the prevention, of many common pathologic conditions and chronic diseases.
When you decide to be healthy it starts a cascade of habits and behaviours that feed into a healthy lifestyle.
You start in the gym with resistance training, you realize that a poor diet will compromise your results so you start eating better, your sleep habits improve because you learn the relationship sleep has on mitigating stress and helping in the recovery process.
In closing, I hope you found this of value and start to see the importance of strength training, especially in times like this.
If want to chat further about your fitness and nutrition journey, feel free to reach out here. We are conducting all client calls via phone and video-conference calls with Online PT and Nutrition options available.
Owner & Director
Peak Health & Performance
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