BENNETT: How can resistance training improve your life?

By on February 14, 2018
Kin Corner is a monthly feature on movement, exercise and rehabilitation written by a Katrina Bennett, a registered kinesiologist.


Would a drug-free way to boost your metabolism, increase your strength and endurance, improve your mood, memory and energy level, strengthen your bones interest you? Resistance training is an excellent way to do this. 

The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that adults accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week and recommends strengthening muscles and bones at least two times per week. This is where resistance training comes into play.

The most comprehensive definition I found was on the eMedicineHealth website. It states that “resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, tone, mass and/or endurance. The external resistance can be dumbbells, rubber exercise tubing, your own body weight, bricks, bottles of water or any other object that causes the muscles to contract.” So, you can do resistance training in the gym with machines and/or weights but if that’s not your thing — then you can workout at home with little to no investment. 

Here’s Rita doing an exercise to strengthen her chest, shoulder and arms muscles called a counter push up. She will do 10 to 15 repetitions or until fatigued and two to three sets, two times per week.

Here’s Rita doing a basic squat to strength her front of thigh (quadriceps) muscles. This requires balance and flexibility so if you are just starting out – make sure you do this in front of chair (as shown). She will do 10 to 15 repetitions or until fatigued and two to three sets, two times per week.

The first benefit of resistance training is that it boosts your metabolism and promotes fat loss. As you increase the amount of lean muscle mass or muscle tissue you have in your body — your body burns more calories — this is called your resting metabolism.

The second benefit of resistance training is that it improves overall strength and endurance. As muscles become stronger and more toned they are better equipped to handle the pressures of our daily lives.

The third benefit is that it improves mood, memory and energy level. The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine reviewed seven studies that demonstrate that resistance training is a meaningful intervention for people suffering from anxiety. In four separate studies, it was found that resistance training has a positive effect on improving mood and depression. They also found that one of the most profound effects of resistance training is the marked improvement in memory and memory-related tasks

The fourth benefit is that resistance training strengthens bones to help prevent osteoporosis. Weight bearing exercises increase loading of the bones which stimulates bone growth. It has now been shown that even though aerobic activity can help that anaerobic activity, resistance training has a greater effect on building bone.

Physical activity is an important way to keep ourselves healthy. And now we know that resistance training is essential for helping us stay strong and healthy for years to come.

Suffer from muscle pain? Struggle with weight management? Wish you were more fit and healthy? With over fifteen years experience Nicola Valley Kinesiology is committed to helping you achieve your health and wellness goals.

Contact Katrina Bennett at (604) for more information. 

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