Long walks aren't enough. Why you need strength training too

Long walks aren't enough. Why you need strength training too

MANY PEOPLE, EVEN FREQUENT GYM-USERS, THINK THAT CARDIO IS ALL THEY NEED TO BE FIT.

TRAINING ALL YOUR BODY MUSCLES, NOT JUST YOUR HEART, IS THE KEY TO REAL FITNESS.

According to research from Public Health England, people should aim to combine intensity, time and strength training. While 10,000 steps a day is a decent target to aim for, you should up the intensity to at least 10 minutes brisk walking a day. You should also be doing weight training or exercises like tai chi, dancing or yoga which strengthen bones and improve balance.

Cardio is often more fun than strength training, so it’s easy for people to focus on it. The 2016 Health Survey for England shows that well over half of men and women met the guidelines for aerobic activities. But only 31% of men and 23% of women added in strength exercises.

WHY IS STRENGTH TRAINING SO IMPORTANT?

Muscle tone starts to drop by the time we reach 40, unless we actively work on it. Strength and balance exercises help to reduce your risk of falls, improve sleep, boost energy and mood, and increase your life span.

HOW MUCH STRENGTH TRAINING DO I NEED?

You need to do at least two sessions of strength and balance training a week. If you’re pretty fit already you could make the sessions long or add in another session.

WHAT SORT OF TRAINING SHOULD I DO?

Some of the best forms of exercise are racket sports, ball games, dancing, Nordic walking, and resistance training. These activities work the arms and legs and help improve our balance.

Exercise using resistance bands, free weights or by doing bodyweight exercises. You can also help by doing more NEAT by walking up and down stairs, carrying heavy weights such as shopping ­– or even children!

Using the gym gives you access to heavier weights and tailored advice from instructors. Our flexible gym passes enable you to mix and match strength training workouts. Have fun!


The Author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for PayasUgym. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.

Comments

Holly B.
20 August 2018

Holly B.

Agree, esp as you get older. You can really tell people who have kept their muscles strong and those who have let them sag.

Ross J.
20 August 2018

Ross J.

Strength training is the key. Cardio alone won't do much for your physique unless you just need to drop a stone. Strength training is what tones you and ups the resting metabolic rate

Brittany T.
18 August 2018

Brittany T.

unfortunately racket sports and ball games are a no-no for me - I'm completely useless at both. I'm not brilliant at dancing either, but you don't get abuse from the rest of the 'team' for that, so that's my fitness of choice with zumba and even a good night out.

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