Weight-Bearing Exercise at Mitcham Community House

The benefits of Weight-Bearing Exercise!

Definition of weight-bearing

The act or state of supporting or withstanding the weight of something (such as a building or the body)

Weight-bearing exercise benefits for women and men older than age 20 are amongst others, it can help prevent bone loss with regular exercise. Exercising can also help us maintain muscle strength, coordination, and balance, which helps to prevent falls and related fractures.

Physical activity or exercise can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Regular activity can improve your quality of life. Resistance training & weight-bearing exercise are excellent forms of exercise as they also help in building bone mass.

Weight-bearing exercises force you to work against gravity. They include walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, playing tennis, and dancing. You can do strength training (Resistance training) with free weights such as barbells and dumbbells, weight machines, or with no equipment at all.

At Mitcham Community House, we have several classes that fall into the Resistance Training or Weight-Bearing category, as they help you build bone mass & make you feel stronger in various ways.

The following Image is a rough guide of the weight-bearing you may do for a specific or a group of activities – this will also depend on the tutor, your own level of fitness, and the type and level of the class you are attending.

Exercise tips

  • Exercise regularly. The optimal goal is at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days, preferably daily.
  • Consult with your class tutor to learn the right way to do each exercise.
  • Doing each exercise 8 to 12 times is usually enough to work your muscles.
  • You know you’re doing enough work if your muscles are so tired you can barely get through the 12th repetition.
  • Start slowly and gradually increase the resistance or weight as the exercises become easier.
  • Listen to your body. When starting an exercise routine, you may have some muscle soreness and discomfort at the beginning, but this should not be painful or last more than 48 hours. If it does, you may be working too hard and need to ease up. Stop exercising if you have any chest pain or discomfort, and see your doctor before your next exercise session.

Benefits of Physical Activity

Men and women of all ages can enjoy weight-bearing exercise. If embarking on a new exercise and you are concerned about the effect, you may have on your own health get a doctor’s OK before beginning, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while.

Two or three 20- or 30-minute weight-bearing exercise every week can contribute to significant health benefits:

  1. Increased muscle mass: Muscle mass naturally decreases with age, but strength training can help reverse the trend.
  2. Stronger bones: weight-bearing increases bone density and reduces the risk of fractures.
  3. Joint flexibility: weight-bearing helps joints stay flexible and can reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
  4. Weight control: As you gain muscle, your body burns calories more easily, making it easier to control your weight.
  5. Balance: weight-bearing exercises can increase flexibility and balance as people age, reducing falls, and injuries.
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