The Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health’s (ISEH) Dr Snehal Pinto Pereira, Associate Professor in Population Health and Applied Statistics and Dr Rachael Frost, Senior Research Fellow from UCL have developed a helpful video go-to guide to raise awareness of the importance of participating in activities that build muscle strength - which is vital for all of us, and especially important as we get older.
In the video they explain the health and wellbeing benefits of muscle strength and share helpful and practical advice on how people can get started on their journey to become stronger.
It is crucial for adults to include strength building activities into their routines, as muscle starts to decline from the age of 40, and this decline can go unnoticed for a long time. Participating in activities that focus on building strength, will have a huge impact on our health and wellbeing; enabling us to remain independent for longer and reducing our risk of falls in older age. It is therefore no wonder that UK Government guidelines recommend adults should be doing muscle strengthening activities at least twice a week.
There are simple things people can do in their day-to-day to lives to begin their journey to becoming stronger. Strength training isn’t only about lifting super-heavy weights at the gym, and you are never too old to start…
When you first start out, resistance training activities can include:
• Carrying heavy shopping
• Walk upstairs / hill walking
• Do gardening e.g., digging
• Heavy housework
• Yoga / Tai Chi
In the video, the researchers explain the importance of challenging your muscles when you feel stronger, which is best achieved through:
• Lifting weights
• Using resistance bands
• Using your own body weight
Watch the video – a helpful and practical guide to building muscle strength.
A special thank you to Anna Lowe from National Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine (Sheffield) who helped make this video and UCL Grand Challenges for funding it.
To help you get started, there are lots of brilliant resources from the following organisations:
• The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy: suggestions that everyone, including those with health conditions, can do.
• NHS: short videos on strength and flexibility
• We are Undefeatable: a variety of exercise videos including on strength training with a range of different levels
• Later Life Training Movement Snacks: various short workouts including some strength exercises
• Versus Arthritis: top 10 resistance band exercises for people with arthritis