Strength training, also known as weight or resistance training, is a physical activity designed to improve muscular fitness by exercising a specific muscle or muscle group against external resistance, including free-weights, weight machines, or your body weight. The benefits of strength training are immense for the human body and mind.
The most significant difference between these types of workouts is how they affect your body. Strength training, like lifting weights or using resistance bands, builds your muscles and helps them work the way they should.
Aerobic exercise, like running or swimming, is designed to make your heart stronger and help your body use oxygen better. Both are good for your overall health, just in different ways.
Strength training is a crucial component of overall health and fitness for everyone. Also, Strength training can be done at home or in the gym and this might still be the best way to hit your health goals.
Strength training is an essential part of your overall fitness and benefits people of all ages, particularly those with health issues such as obesity, arthritis, or a heart condition.
Here’s What Strength Training Can Do For You!
Strength training can help you get stronger and look and feel better with just a few short sessions each week. You can do strength training with free weights such as barbells and dumbbells, weight machines, or with no equipment at all.
Here are a few benefits of strength training. Let’s have a look!
Strength Training Makes You Stronger and Fitter
This benefit is the obvious one, but it shouldn’t be overlooked, especially as we get older and naturally start to lose muscle. Strength training is also called resistance training because it involves strengthening and toning your muscles by contracting them against a resisting force. Strength training can help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass at any age.
Increased Muscle Mass
Muscle mass naturally decreases with age, but strength training can help reverse the trend.
Strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of fractures.
Strength training helps joints stay flexible and can reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
As you gain muscle, your body begins to burn calories more quickly, making it easier to control your weight.
Strengthening exercises can increase flexibility and balance as people age, reducing falls and injuries.
Strength training can help with chronic disease management.
Studies have documented the many wellness benefits of strength training, including helping people with some chronic diseases manage their conditions.
You Cut Your Odds of Type 2 Diabetes
Strength training used to take a back seat to aerobic exercise when it came to fending off type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that it can help with many things related to the condition, like helping your body process glucose, boosting your metabolism, and losing weight.
Reduced Cancer Risk
Visceral fat not only increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes, but it can also promote cancer development. Muscle wasting is a common complication of cancer treatment and is associated with a higher risk of chemotherapy toxicity, faster tumor progression, and lower survival rates.
Cardiovascular Health Benefits
Lifting weight can mean less heavy lifting for your heart. One study says weight training for an hour a week can cut your chances of having a heart attack or stroke by up to 70% and you don’t have to do it all at once. Three 20-minute sessions each week will work.
Strength Training Boosts Energy Levels and Improves your Mood
Strength training will elevate your endorphins level (natural opiates produced by the brain), which lifts energy levels and improve mood. As if that isn’t enough to convince you, there’s evidence strength training may help you sleep better, too.
Strength Training Translates to More Calories Burned
You burn calories during strength training. Your body continues to burn calories after strength training (just like you do after aerobic exercise), a process called “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” or EPOC.
Enhance Your Quality of Life
One of strength training’s many benefits includes a longer life. Strength training may enhance your quality of life and improve your ability to do everyday activities. Building muscle also can contribute to better balance and may reduce your risk of falls. This can help you maintain independence as you age.
Sharpen your Thinking Skills
Some research suggests that regular strength training and aerobic exercise may improve thinking and learning skills for older adults.
Decreased Risk of Injury
Improving muscle strength decreases the risk of falling and other related injuries. Developing strong bones and muscles can help to reduce the severity of falls. Increased power will also allow your body to be more resistant to damages and general aches and pains.
Benefits of Strength Training: Footnotes
If you have any health issues, ask your doctor what type of strength training is best to meet your needs and abilities. You can also work with a fitness expert to design a strength-training program that will be safe and effective for you. You don’t need a gym membership or expensive weight machines, he adds. “Squatting on a chair at home, push-ups, planks, or other movements that require you to use your body weight as resistance are very effective.”