Strength training exercises, which includes resistance exercises, help strengthen your body. This is particularly important as you age, because when someone is weak, they are more at risk for injury and more prone to falls. In addition to strengthen your body, resistance exercises are good to tone and strengthen your muscles, and although many people think they don’t need it, resistance exercises are one of the best ways to remain flexible and mobile because stronger bones and muscles develop as you train.
Resistance training works because it causes microscopic tears in muscle cells, which the body repairs and causes the muscles to regenerate and grow stronger. Breaking down and repairing the muscle is what leads to the creation of bigger, better muscles. A similar process is used by the bones in that they must be broken down before growth and repair can occur, which makes them stronger. Because the body must have time to repair itself, most people leave a day between their workouts to help with this recovery process.
There are a number of ways to accomplish resistance exercises. You can use your own body weight and do push-ups and pull-ups to strengthen arms, back, shoulders, chest, and legs. You can also use resistance tubes, which are portable, cheap, and easy to use. If you’re interested in tube training, here are some DVDs, books, and kits that can help:
10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones. This DVD provides a 6 foot band, which you can use to accomplish the techniques shown in the DVD. You can change your hold on the band to get different intensities, and even people in their 70s have used this DVD to get fit.
The Resistance Band Workout Book. This book offers complete instructions on how to use tubes for fitness. It offers general workout instructions, sports-specific ones, and goal-oriented exercises. It also comes with illustrations and is an excellent primer for beginners.
The Resistance Band Workout Kit. This kit comes with bands and a DVD, as well as three different complete workouts: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.