The Importance Of Load Bearing Exercise

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Why is load bearing exercise so important?

So obviously exercise in general is very important to lead a healthy and happy life. By exercising, you are strengthening the entire human machine:

  • The heart

  • The brain

  • Blood vessels

  • Bones

  • Muscles

Leading an active life is the most important thing you can do for your long-term health. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of load bearing (or resistance/weight training) exercise.

What is “load bearing exercise?”

Load Bearing Exercise, also known as weight or resistance training, is physical activity designed to improve muscular fitness by exercising a specific muscle or muscle group against external resistance, including free-weights, weight machines, or your own body weight.

Benefits of load bearing exercise for different age groups:

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Child - Teen (6-18 Years Old):

  • Increases muscle mass

  • Increases bone density

  • Decreases body fat

  • Improves physical performance, which reduces risk of injury when playing sports

  • Improves motor performance skills (body awareness)

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Young Adult (19-29 Years Old):

  • Aids to maintain and improve Psychological health

  • Introduces another form of discipline into their life

  • Decreases body fat

  • Regulates energy levels

  • Balances hormone levels

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Adult - Elder (30+ Years Old):

  • Improves insulin sensitivity, lowering risk of most chronic diseases

  • Reduces risk of metabolic syndromes such as:

    • Large waist circumference

    • High triglycerides

    • Low HDL cholesterol

    • High blood pressure

    • High blood sugar

  • Lowers inflammation

  • Improves cognitive function and reduces anxiety and depression

  • Prevents muscle loss with age (Sarcopenia)

    • 3-5% per year

  • Strengthens joints and reduces risk of injury

  • Increases commonly overlooked body mechanics that decline with age, such as:

    • Balance

    • Coordination

    • Posture

  • Increases hormone production in both men and women.

  • Reduces perimenopausal symptoms in women, such as:

    • anxiety and depression

    • mood swings, irregular periods, weight gain and brain fog, in part by increasing production of testosterone

Load bearing exercise related to fat loss?

When it comes to losing body fat and creating the body composition that you have always wanted…. building muscle (thus burning fat) is the way to go due to multiple reasons:

  • Building muscle increases the bodies resting metabolism. This means that you burn more calories while your body is at rest.

  • Load bearing exercise has been proven to burn calories up to 38 hours after a workout. Compared to cardiovascular exercise, in which your body stops burning calories within an hour or so after your workout.

  • Increased EPOC - Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption - the amount of oxygen required to restore your body to its normal, resting level of metabolic function (homeostasis).

  • Cardiovascular training decreases both body fat and muscle which does not change overall body composition.

  • Load bearing exercise decreases body fat while building muscle, therefore altering overall body composition in a positive way.

Diet and load bearing exercise.

  • Weight training coupled with a proper diet will further increase positive body composition changes.

    • Consuming protein and carbs post workout

    • Eating real, whole foods

    • Decrease sugar and processed foods

    • Consuming .8-1g of protein per pound of body weight

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Article Written By:

Jacob Norris

Co-Owner/GM

CrossFit 926