Can you resist?
Don’t even try to. Go for it. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in April this year showed that resistance exercise (such as weight-lifting, using resistance bands, press-ups and sit-ups) that helps to maintain and build muscle-mass reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. In this recent study, 36 men and women in their early 60s who were consuming adequate or moderately high amounts of protein worked a variety of muscle groups for 75 minutes three times a week for 12 weeks. At the end of the test period, their glucose tolerance was increased by up to 30 per cent.
Dr Garry Egger
Resistance exercise works your muscles at loads greater than they are accustomed to. When this happens, your muscles adapt by getting stronger and bigger. There are other benefits too. Regular resistance training:
- Increases bone density and strength.
- Boosts metabolism.
- Improves blood glucose and blood fats.
- Reduces body fat.
- Lowers heart rate and blood pressure.
- Improves balance and stability.
Before you begin, have a chat to your doctor, gym instructor or personal trainer. If you don’t want to go to a gym or invest in special equipment, there are all sorts of things about the house that can double up as exercise equipment.
Rice bags: 500 g or 1 kilo (1 or 2 lb) rice bags can be used like dumbbells, one bag for each hand. These add resistance to exercise-to-music at home or can simply be used like weights with any exercise.
Your own body: calisthenics is the form of exercise made popular in the 1960s through programs like 5BX and 10BX. The body is used as its own form of resistance for doing a range of exercises such as push ups, dips and squats.
A chair: a solid chair is a great device for stepping up and down on, or as a base to increase resistance experienced when doing callisthenic exercises.
A partner: exercising with a partner can provide as much increased resistance as the partner is prepared to put into it. A partner can also add to the benefits of stretching exercises.
Exercises bands: these are worth investing in (try from sports stores). They are great for travelling as they don’t take up any room.
A backpack: adding weight by strapping on a backpack when walking increases the effort required and therefore uses more energy and fat.
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