Strength training, also known as resistance training, involves using weights, exercises, or your own body weight to build muscle and increase strength. Although many people associate strength training with bodybuilding, it is very important for good health and fitness. In this article, we will look at the benefits of strength training and why lifting weights is important for your health.
- Increased Muscle and Strength
One of the most common benefits of strength training is increased muscle mass and strength. As you challenge your muscles with resistance, they become more flexible and stronger. This can help you stay healthy, whether you’re an athlete or just looking to keep walking as you get older.
- Increase in Healthy Bones
Strength training can also help maintain bone strength, which is important in preventing osteoarthritis and other bone diseases. When you lift weights or use resistance bands, you create stress on your bones, which causes new bone formation. This can help improve bone density and reduce the risk of fractures and other injuries.
- Reducing the Risk of Chronic Disease
Strength training can also help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Resistance training helps increase insulin sensitivity, which can reduce the risk of diabetes. It can also help reduce inflammation and improve heart health, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Mindfulness and Mental Health
Strength training has also been shown to improve mood and overall health. Resistance training can help reduce stress and anxiety, increase self-esteem and confidence, and reduce symptoms of depression. It can also improve cognitive function and memory, which can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline associated with aging.
- Increased Metabolism and Fat Loss
Strength training can also increase metabolism and promote fat loss. As you build muscle, your body requires more energy to maintain that muscle mass, which can increase your metabolism and help you burn more calories. Strength training can also help reduce body fat, especially around the abdomen, which is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases.
- Straight Form and Alignment
Strength training can also help improve posture and balance, which can reduce the risk of falls and other injuries. While you’re building muscle and increasing strength, you’re also helping your balance and coordination.
Incorporate Strength Training into your routine
Now that you know the benefits of strength training, how can you incorporate it into your exercise routine? It is important to start slowly and increase the amount of exercise over time. You can start with basic exercises, such as push-ups, squats, and lunges, and gradually add weights or exercises as you progress.
It is also important to focus on proper form and technique to avoid injury. Consider working with your trainer or attending a strength training class to learn proper form and technique.
Finally, it’s important to give your muscles time to rest and recover between workouts. Aim for strength training at least two to three times a week, with at least 48 hours between workouts to allow for full recovery.
Finally, strength training is an important part of overall health and fitness. It can help increase muscle and strength, strengthen bones, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, improve mood and health, increase metabolism and promote fat loss, and improve posture and health. Incorporating strength training into your fitness routine can help you achieve your health and fitness goals and improve your overall quality of life.
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2021). The benefits of strength training. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-benefits-of-strength-training
- Mayo Clinic. (2021). Strength train: Get strong, lean, healthy. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/strength-training/art-20046670
- American Council on Exercise. (and). Why strength training? Retrieved from https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/5446/why-strength-training
- National Institute on Aging. (2020). Strength training. Retrieved from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/strength-training
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). The benefits of strength training. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adding-strength-training/index.html