Strength training is a vital part of any complete fitness program; and it has been proven safe and effective for both men and women of any age – even for people who are not in perfect health, such as those who suffer from certain heart diseases or arthritis.
We all lose muscle mass as we age, especially in our 40s and 50s. Regular strength training can help you preserve muscle before you lose it or build it back up if you have already started losing it. Muscle mass not only improves your overall physique, but it also makes your cardio workouts much more effective. And not only that – the more muscle you have, the better your metabolism. The better your metabolism, the more efficiently you burn calories throughout the day.
Strength training is not just for men; women need it too. Women in particular lose 1-2% of their bone mass annually, resulting in osteoporosis and making them more susceptible to fractures. Adding load to your workouts increases bone density and improves joint function, thus reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Stronger bones and muscles means better posture, both of which help reduce the pain associated with chronic conditions such as back, shoulder, and neck pain. Strength training combined with cardio has also been shown to reduce the pain and stiffness associated with arthritic conditions.
It has been said, “Sweat is fat crying” and cardiovascular exercise definitely creates a hostile environment for fat cells. Cardio not only burns calories and fat, it also gets your heart pumping, squeezing more blood into your organs and improving your overall circulation. Additionally, cardio forces oxygen into the lungs. Oxygen helps those muscles you have built from strength training to convert carbohydrates and fat into fuel, creating a leaner, meaner body and an overall boost in energy.
Like strength training, cardio exercise has many health benefits. It reduces the risk of heart disease by improving blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels; and it lowers blood pressure. Cardio training also releases endorphins, our body’s natural mood elevator and pain reliever, which contributes to an overall happier and healthier state of mind.
MASSAGE & YOGA
At Level 4 Health Club, we know the value of recovery. After you have put your body through the stress of the workouts, it needs time to regenerate and recover. Recovery is not an indulgence, but rather it is an essential component of our 4-Key Program.
We offer both massage and yoga as part of the recovery element of our 4-Key Program. Both speed up the recovery process and reduce the risk of injury and soreness. Massage can help break up muscle adhesion, something which happens to your muscles after strength training or intense cardio. Breaking up muscle adhesion alleviates soreness and reduces stiffness after workouts. Yoga and stretching can also reduce adhesion, but are especially good for increasing flexibility and range of motion.
And of course, both massage and yoga induce a state of rest and relaxation, something which our mind and bodies can always use more of.