When we think about weight training, we usually think about its impact on our muscles. However, your skeleton is impacted by exercise just as much as your muscles are. Any personal trainer will tell you that weight training, more than say cardio training, benefits your skeletal system more than you might have thought.
Weight training makes bones stronger
Weight training puts your bones under stress since they have to work against gravity (and against the extra weight of a barbell or dumbbell). In response, your bones produce more osteoblasts – the cells responsible for building bone tissue and strengthening bones.
Yet it’s not just your bones that get tougher through weight training. The soft tissue protecting the bones gets stronger too and this, in turn, makes your whole skeletal system stronger. This means you’ll avoid injuries to these structures. If you take a fall, you’re less likely to break bones.
The ligaments and cartilage between the bones also benefit from weight training. The synovial membrane in your joints is stimulated to produce more synovial fluid – a lubricant that keeps joints working smoothly and prevents the cartilage there from drying out. If you maintain healthy levels of synovial fluid, you’ll maintain a healthy suppleness in your joints, and thus prevent injuries as well as also stiffness.
Why weight training is a MUST for any age
Your 30th birthday is more than an excuse to throw a big bash. It also marks the watershed for your bone density levels because from the age of 30, your bones start to lose mass – it’s a natural side effect of ageing. Your personal trainer will, unfortunately, confirm this.
So if you’ve got a very high bone density before your thirties, you’ll fare better as you age compared to someone whose bone density is mediocre in their twenties. This is why expert personal trainers encourage children to engage in weight-bearing sports regularly to start building healthy bone density from a young age (and keep it!).
In older generations, weight training helps to prevent dramatic losses in bone density, keeping bones stronger. This, coupled with stronger ligaments and joints, means better posture, greater mobility and less frailty. Goodbye hip replacement! Goodbye stiff and achy knees!
You CAN get too much of a good thing
Beware – too much weight training is bad for you. If you overdo it, and you’re not getting enough calcium and Vitamin D to support your training, you’ll lose bone density rather than build it. Your body simply won’t keep up with the stress of the weight training.
For women, too much weight training can impact oestrogen levels negatively, causing irregular menstrual cycles. It also causes bone density levels to plummet and can result in osteoporosis (something that’s more prevalent in women).
If you believe in exercise as a means to achieve wellness, and are passionate about helping others enjoy this too, consider a career in exercise. Sign up today for a Comprehensive Exercise Science Certification at Trifocus Fitness Academy.