A Healthier U

TOP 5 REASONS TO START STRENGTH TRAINING

Here are 5 smart reasons to include strength training in your life. 

1. You’ll sleep better

People who are regularly physically active report the best sleep and weightlifting is no exception. Researchers have found that resistance training reduced the number of times the study participants woke up during the night, as compared to a control group who performed no exercise. 

2. Your progress is so noticeable.

There’s nothing that feels quite as rewarding as accomplishing a goal. Strength training can offer speedy results. If you’re new to strength work, you’ll find that a weight you once thought was impossible to lift starts to feel easy sooner than you might imagine. It only takes a month to see strength gains after lift 2-3 days per week.

3. To protect your bones and boost your balance.

Weight-bearing exercise and particularly strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of fractures and breaks among older adults. One major cause of bone breaks as we age is falling. Weight lifting can improve balance resulting in fewer falls.

4. It can make you happier.

Like all forms of physical activity, strength training can work wonders for your mental health. Research indicates that resistance training can release feel-good endorphins to help keep anxiety at bay, and may even help fight depression. Squeezing in a quick workout may help you stay focused throughout the workday and can instantly boost your mood. Lifting can also help improve a person’s perceived body image and self-esteem. 

5. You’ll live longer

While most forms of physical activity can add years to your life, strength training in particular has big benefits.  The greater your muscle mass, the lower your risk of premature death.  Instead of worrying about weight, we should be trying to maximize and maintain muscle mass. Strength training also provides cardiovascular benefits. Regular resistance training can lower blood pressure, in some cases as effectively as taking medication. 

Need some motivation? Join a University Employee Fitness class. Our instructors can help you get started to keep you coming back for more.  PEAK’s spring semester classes are 50 percent off for the remainder of the semester. Click here to register today. 

HealthFeed

CAN YOUR EYES GET A SUNBURN?

By now you know (we hope) that you should wear sunscreen, year-round, to protect your skin from sun damage. But did you know that without UV-ray-blocking sunglasses, your eyes can also suffer sunburns?

Damage to the eyes from sun is called “photokeratitis,” and we see a lot of it here in Utah—especially in spring, when you can ski, golf, and hike—sometimes all in one sunny day. “Photokeratitis is not only painful, but in rare cases it can cause temporary vision loss,” says Moran Eye Center ophthalmologist, Jeff Pettey, MD.

Pettey, who is also one of the official Utah Jazz team doctors and a provider for the US Olympic Committee’s National Medical Network, explains that “sun rays can bounce off water, sand, or pavement, and when those rays make contact with the naked eye, they cause damage to the outer layer of cells, and the clear front surface of the eye (the cornea) begins to break down. It becomes very light-sensitive and irritated. The conjunctiva, the cell layer covering the inside of the eyelids and whites of the eye is also affected.”

Read the full story here.

For more expert health news and information, visit healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed.