Strength training, ageing and chiropractic – This is one of my favourite topics. It’s something that I’ve been contemplating a lot over the past couple of weeks as a number of CrossFit ‘goers’ come into the practice!
However, what I’m about to delve into is definitely not limited to those who frequent CrossFit specifically. In fact, the same theories apply to anyone that is doing any form of strength-based training.
First of all, I just want to say that if you are already lifting weights – congratulations and good on you!
If you aren’t, I strongly recommend that you do. There are many reasons why strength training is GOOD for you no matter your age. This includes benefiting your heart, improving your balance, strengthening bones AND helping you look and feel better. Hello toned arms, anyone?!
There is a lot of research out there suggesting that doing weightlifting is in fact a very good idea as you get older. Training just two times a week can help prevent the natural loss of lean muscle mass that occurs with the ageing process. This one hits close to home for me, as my Nan when she was in her eighties fractured her femur twice, both very incidentally. It really made me wonder how the quality of her life could have been better at the end had she known earlier the importance of a strong musculoskeletal system.
Another article I came across was research that found that resistance exercises actually helped to prevent age related chronic diseases such as mobility disability, cardiovascular disease and even cancer. How cool is that!
My take home message for you is… it’s the decisions and habits from right now that will ultimately lead us down the path to better (or worse) health outcomes in the future.
What does strength training entail?
Basically, it’s any activity designed to improve muscular fitness by placing the muscle under some type of load or stress. This can be done with bodyweight exercises (for example push ups), free weights (dumbbells, kettlebells, deadlifts, squats etc.) or weight machines.
For adults, the recommendation is to do a moderate to intense muscle strengthening workout that works on all muscle groups twice a week. That’s all!!
If this is new territory for you, check with your doctor before starting anything new. Then I would definitely suggest seeking the help of a professional as you get started (a.k.a find a great CrossFit gym, regular gym, or a personal trainer).
Then when it comes to recovery, I would suggest the following:
- Give yourself at least 24 hours in between workouts to allow your body time to rest.
- Always provide the body with good quality nutrition and lots of water.
- Make sure you’re getting a good amount of sleep as this is when the gains happen.
- Look after your body with stretching, foam rolling, and of course regular chiropractic adjustments.
Talking specifically about chiropractic adjustments, there has been some research done by Dr Heidi Haavik (Chiropractor and Neurophysiologist). She found that chiropractic adjustments can help muscle strength increase, as well as decrease fatigue and improve the brain’s ability to drive muscles! How cool is that!!
So all in all, there is no time like the present to start adding in resistance training to your life. Your future self will thank you for it.
To book your appointment with one of Ohana’s chiropractic team contact us today.