Get Stronger So Things Are Easier

This week we’re going to share some thoughts on why resistance training–and in particular barbell training–can be such an important component of your approach to lifetime fitness and health.

This time around, however, we’re not going to take a particularly technical approach to this topic, although that certainly has its merits–maintenance and promotion of lean body mass become exponentially more important as we age, after all.

Instead, we are going to focus on some simple, everyday problems that a progressive strength training routine can help you address:

1. Carrying Things Around. How many of you try to set the all-time grocery bag carry in record every time you shop because you just don’t want to have to make more than one trip? I certainly have been in that boat. Whether it’s groceries, trash to the dump, kids in your arms or over your shoulders, getting stronger makes all of your life’s carries easier.

2. Your Joints Feel Better. Are your knees, hips, ankles, and shoulders always sore after physical activity? When you get stronger, your muscles and joint complexes improve in concert and your body begins to rely more appropriately on muscular work during physical activities. We’ve all seen folks on stiff hips, knees, and ankles moving very tentatively–this is in part because they are relying almost solely on their joints to provide stability through their daily activities.

3. You Protect Your Back. This one is simple. A good strength training program gets your core stronger over time. And when we say core, we aren’t just talking about your six-pack. We’re talking about your obliques, your spinal erectors, and the musculature around your hips. Think of a strong core as a protective belt around your lower back. When you get stronger–particularly if you’re using big movements like squats, presses, and pulls, you’re doing wonders for your back. This is huge.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about the basics of a good strength program. The good news? It’s pretty simple.

The bad news? It’s pretty simple.

We’ll explain tomorrow.

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