Photo Credit: Carin Goodall-Gosnell

Resistance training is a form of exercise that improves strength and endurance along with flexibility. During a resistance training workout, you move your limbs against the resistance provided by your body weight, gravity, bands, weighted bars, dumbbells or machines.

If you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t have time for that. I’m too busy,” maybe you want to ask the guy who can’t bend down to tie his shoes anymore. If he had to do it over again, would he make time to maintain his fitness and mobility? The consequences of not including some type of exercise into one’s lifestyle include weight gain which leads to low energy; loss of flexibility, balance, strength and endurance; and the slow incidence of growing chronic issues. Those problems reduce productivity at work, home and in your officiating.

Muscles not used atrophy (shrink). Sarcopenia, the gradual loss of muscle, is a natural occurrence in humans and starts around age 30-something. Doing some type of resistance exercise can slow the onset of sarcopenia. Having more muscle is a good thing because muscle burns more calories than fat even at rest.

Before you say, “I don’t have a gym membership,” understand you don’t need one for resistance training. Remember in gym class when you did pushups? This is a great upper-body exercise that can be done anywhere, anytime. Squats are good but only go down until your upper thighs are parallel to the floor. Jumping jacks are another good one. Try this leg lift: Lie on the floor, extend your legs, put your hands under your butt and lift your feet a few inches off the floor and hold them up for five to 10 seconds for core conditioning. One leg balance is a practice of standing straight, lifting one foot off the floor and leaning to the opposite side. See how long you can maintain balance, switch feet and repeat.

For the first week, don’t concern yourself with numbers

Whether you are in poor or average shape, those movements are a good start. For the first week don’t concern yourself with numbers; just do each exercise until you feel a slight burn to the area that is being worked and stop. You will be a little sore but that is normal and it will go away within a few days.

For an aerobic workout, put on a good pair of walking shoes and walk. Go as far as you are comfortable. You can walk fast or slow. Riding your bike for 30 minutes is a great way to enjoy the outdoors  and get your cardio workout. And if you have access to a pool, swimming is hard to beat for a complete aerobic session.

Exercise doesn’t have to be a “blood, sweat and tears” effort. It does require you to push yourself somewhat, but the secret is consistency. That’s it. Make it part of your daily routine and I guarantee you will benefit.

If you want to go through life vibrant and full of energy, remember we are designed to move. If being healthy, productive and active is important to you, you are in control. My question to you is, are you?

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