No matter what your fitness goal is, reducing body fat, building muscle mass or getting stronger, strength training can be your savior. While many people avoid it and choose cardio instead, women especially, strength training should be an integral part of your fitness routine.
It’s great for not only fitness but also your general health and mental wellbeing. If you need a little more time to be convinced to grab some weights, here are just some of the most beneficial sides of strength training.
It makes you stronger
This one might be obvious, but it’s worth mentioning none the less. Muscle strength is crucial if you want to do your chores and other day-to-day things easily and more efficiently, especially as you get older and start to naturally lose muscle mass.
While it strengthens your muscles, it can also help you improve your grip strength allowing you to use the muscles in your upper body more effectively. If you’re new to this type of exercise, it’s important to know that there are two types of strength or resistance training: Isometric and isotonic.
One involves contracting your muscles against a non-moving object (like in push-ups) while the other involves contracting your muscles through motion (like in lifting weights). Both types are beneficial for building your strength.
It keeps the weight down
Cardio exercises like running, walking and cycling are great in boosting the number of calories you burn during the workout, helping you lose weight.
However, strength training boosts your calorie consumption as well, even though you’re not going to burn a huge number of them while you lift.
What strength exercises do is they increase your resting metabolism which allows you to burn more calories during your day-to-day activities and chores. Hard resistance workouts increase your EPOC or your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption so your body will continue to burn more calories even after you leave the gym.
It develops better body mechanics
Besides building muscles and improving your weight loss, strength training also improves your coordination, posture, and balance.
So, if you’re an older person at risk of falling or a busy business person that can’t afford getting injured, you’ll reduce your risk of falls thanks to your improved body mechanics.
Muscle strength and balance are tightly connected and your extra muscles actually keep you on your feet. The stronger your muscles are, more reliable your balance is.
It strengthens your bones
Just 30 minutes of strength training twice a week can improve your functional performance, but also boost your bone density, strength and structure. The biggest plus is that there are no negative health effects connected to resistance training like there are when we talk about supplements.
This is especially important for post-menopausal women with lowered bone density, but everyone can benefit from better and stronger bones.
It improves your cardiovascular health
Just like aerobic exercises, strength training helps keep your blood pressure in check. If you suffer from high blood pressure, it’s a great idea to introduce muscle-strengthening activities into your routine twice a week together with your weekly moderate cardio. This combination is very effective in fighting hypertension and decreasing your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
It helps with chronic illness management
People with chronic illnesses can relieve the symptoms once they introduce strength training into their fitness routine. It’s especially effective with arthritis and it helps reduce pain almost as effectively as pain medication. Strength training can also help in blood sugar level control.
It improves your mood and energy
Just like cardio, resistance training can boost the production of endorphins, the body’s natural happy chemicals that improve mood and boost energy levels. If you suffer from fatigue, depression or anxiety, strength training in combination with therapy can work wonders for your mental health.
Additionally, muscle extortion is a great way to get more sleep and improve your sleep quality. While pills work well, they can cause various unwanted effects and even addiction. On the other hand, strength training is a 100% natural and healthy way to improve your night’s rest.
It keeps your young
While investigating muscle mitochondrial content and function in contact with strength training, scientists discovered something very interesting: resistance training can improve both the content of mitochondria and the capacity of muscles to store oxygen. What that means is that strength training can slow down cell deterioration with age, especially in older adults.
Some mitochondria of 68-year-olds who engage in regular resistance exercise exhibit the same characteristics as those in healthy 24-year-olds. Long story short, data suggests that regular strength training helps reverse the aging of cells in skeletal muscles which can help keep you fit and young for longer.
We all want to look and feel better, so what are you waiting for? Find a good program that will ease you into strength exercises and you’ll improve almost every aspect of your life. If you don’t know where to begin, it’s best to find a fitness expert to create a good program that will be safe and effective for your needs.