Despite all the COVID restrictions the Olympians wowed us with their talent and strength and hopefully many of us will be inspired by them to reacquaint ourselves with our exercise regimes or maybe take up a new sport altogether.

Having a regular exercise regime has been shown to be extremely beneficial to all ages and there is a wealth of activities to choose from – but try to choose a sport that you enjoy! So whatever floats your boat, with a group, on your own, outside or indoors!

The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has published an article on the dos and don’ts of weight lifting which is one example of resistance exercise and has the following health benefits:

  • improved muscle tone and strength to protect joints from injury
  • helps with weight management by increasing the muscle to fat ratio – as you gain muscle your body will burn more calories when at rest
  • maintaining flexibility and balance reducing the risk of falls
  • improved posture
  • increase in bone density thereby reducing risk of osteoporosis (bone thinning)

However, you don’t need to use weights to increase muscle strength – other forms of resistance exercise include:

  • heavy gardening (digging and shovelling)
  • yoga
  • pilates
  • floor exercises such as squats, push ups, sit ups and lunges
  • climbing
  • gymnastics

Here are some tips to help you on your way:

  • Set yourself realistic goals – if you want to use weights or resistance bands start low and increase the resistance as you build up your strength
  • doing short periods of exercise eg breaking up an hour’s session into smaller chunks is as beneficial as a longer period
  • stay hydrated before, during and after
  • do a warm up beforehand and stretch the muscles you have used after exercising

To read the BCA article click here: