"Strength isn't everything but without it we are nothing" - Werner Kieser.
I am a big fan of this quote as it very clearly describes that whilst our whole world does not revolve around strength and training for it, it is very important to our lives.
From the moment we are born we consider strength to be important, "are we a good eater, can we hold our head up, look how he can pull himself up, she is already standing on her own now" are all thing parents say and think about when our babies are growing. After physical development has passed a certain point such as the ability to walk we tend to focus our attention on the strength of the mind and it's development into adolescence and school. The mind and it's development should never be ignored however I would argue that equal measure and focus should be placed on developing our physical strength........Why?
One normally considers that physical strength should be encouraged for those wanting to persue a sporting career whether at school or college or beyond. In some societies those capable of unique sporting prowess are held up and heralded as special and that is fine but those who choose or dislike the notion of sport tend to shy away or actively avoid activity because of the associated clique. I believe that if a person is made to understand that taking pride in your physical ability is a matter of maintenance similar to brushing ones teeth, taking a shower or combing your hair it is a crucial part of daily life to which ultimately leads to a better quality of life and well being far and beyond the 3 daily activities mentioned above.
As a teenager our bodies are very good at recovering from physical stress and it is the best time to actively put it under certain quantities of stress to aid and encourage adaptation and strength development. By stress I mean physical activity like running, playing sport or load bearing activities (weight training). If we start at this age we are setting our selves up for a better quality of life without physical limitation, freedom of expression and a conscious perception of weight gain or loss.
As we age and take our place in the most common position of modern western society ie in a chair behind a desk, then we begin our slow decline to weakness and pain. It is not that every person will suffer from pain to but it is highly likely that you might particularly if you do not maintain even a slight degree of musculoskeletal stress on the body.
The graph above shows you very clearly the decline of strength as we age and is devided by gender.
Musculoskeletal stress can involve all sorts of different activities including walking, running or rowing. However these are not the most productive methods for developing longevity in the efficiency/adaptations of the bones, muscles and cardiovascular systems. Differentiation or definition between cardio workouts and strength training can help us to better understand what the pros and cons are of these two very different modalities. Modern research is identifying more and more that measured strength training is the key to longevity of life and improved homeostasis both in a rested state and active one, as well as having a significant effect on the reduction of congenital disease.
Ask yourself how often do you get your heart rate up intentionally, is it every day, every other day or very rarely? Do you focus on just walking a lot of do you incorporate specific movements to improve your range of motion and energy?
if if you are looking for more advise or information then get in touch and we can devise a safe and suitable programme of exercise to strengthen and prevent degenerative changes in your body as you age , ideally gracefully!