You don’t have to be a body builder or want to compete in weight lifting to get benefits from strength training. Everyone should be doing strength training. It should be part of every workout no matter what your goal. Strength training provides many different benefits, besides building muscle strength. It’s great for weight loss, not only burning huge amounts of calories, but also retaining the muscles you already have. The more muscle mass you have, the easier it is to lose weight, since muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue does. Strength training also continues to boost your metabolism even after you quit exercising.
Strength training slows and even reverses both sarcopenia and osteoporosis.
No matter what your age, strength training is important but even more after you reach midlife. You lose muscle mass as you age so that by the time you’re 70, you’ve lost about 45% to 50% of the muscle mass you had in your younger years. That loss of muscle can affect your balance, leave you tired and lead to falls. Exercise stimulates the cells responsible for building bones, so it also increases bone density. In fact, one study had postmenopausal women participate in strength training for a year and the results were impressive. The women all showed significant increase in the bone density of their hips and spine, the places most often affected by osteoporosis.
Strength training provides huge heart health benefits.
If weight loss and the prevention of bone and muscle loss weren’t enough, there are a number of other heart health benefits you’ll get from strength training. It strengthens the heart and lowers blood pressure too. It also boosts circulation and improves cholesterol levels. When used with aerobic training, it provides a balanced vascular response. The aerobic training reduced arterial stiffness, but didn’t increase blood flow, while the strength training increased blood flow to the limbs, but had a minor increase in arterial stiffness.
Strength training helps control blood sugar and lowers the risk of diabetes.
While most people think of cardio training for controlling blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of diabetes, but resistance training is also good, according to new studies. In fact, doing either, strength and cardio, for two and a half hours a week will substantially lower the risk for diabetes. However, when you do both, cardio and strength training, it can lower the risk even more, up to 60 percent. That’s a huge incentive to include strength training in every workout.
- Strength training is important to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s Disease, Arthritis, fibromyalgia, spinal cord injury and lymphedema. It also helps manage the disease.
- Strength training has proven helpful for those who have depression, anxiety and can relieve stress. It puts you in a better mood.
- If you want to build your energy level, you need to build your strength. You’ll not feel as tired and have a higher energy level when you include strength training in your workout.
- Strength training can be challenging and fun. Consider kettlebells, those are just plain fun and the challenge you’ll have trying to beat your best lift.