Image to the left by Vladimir Mucibabic
Disclaimer: The information provided should not be taken as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the content of this article. Please consult with your doctor or a health professional before starting any new diet and exercise regimen.
Benefits of Strength Training
If all you’re doing for exercise is cardio, then you are missing out on some great benefits by omitting strength training. And ladies, contrary to what many women may think, lifting weights will not bulk you up, thanks to the lack of testosterone. In fact, women who lift weights have lower body fat percentages and have leaner, toned bodies. And if you are trying to achieve weight loss, it is essential that you incorporate strength training into your workout routine. By lifting weights, your metabolism continues to burn hours after your workout, even at rest; which means your body is incessantly burning calories.
Not only does strength training improve your looks, but building muscles can also lead to a longer and better life. Your overall quality of life is greatly enhanced because when you’re strong, you are physically better able to get out there and enjoy all that life has to offer. And the great news is that you do not have to commit all of your time towards a tighter and leaner you. All it takes is about two to three sessions a week to build muscle mass according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The muscle built in 90 minutes of strength training per week can burn as much as a few hours worth of aerobic exercises per Dr. Ellington Darden, the founder and chairman of Living Longer Stronger, LLC.
Ok, so we’ve established that strength training helps us look and feel better, it raises our metabolism, by 15% in fact, and enhances our quality of life. Research has shown that there are many benefits associated with exercise, particularly lifting weights or resistance training. But what are some of those benefits? Here are just a few that should encourage you to start pumping some iron.
Higher Energy – more muscle mass equals a higher level of energy. People who lift weights tend to have longer stamina and are less likely to get tired as quickly. You will have the energy to do more and live life to the fullest.
Age Gracefully – exercising can prevent many ailments associated with old age; it helps you feel good and stay healthy as the years pass. Combining aerobic conditioning with strength training can reduce the risk of falls and fractures by improving balance and coordination, promote healthy bone density and prevent osteoporosis.
Fewer Injuries – when your muscles are stronger, the connective tissues that surround them are also stronger which means that the entire muscular system is supported, providing protection against injuries. And if in the event that you do suffer an injury, with stronger muscles you’re more likely to recover from your injury quicker.
Better Posture – with stronger core, hip and back muscles, you will be able to stand and sit up straighter more comfortably which will make you appear taller and more confident.
Prevent Disease and Obesity – you can positively affect risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and cancer simply by adding strength through resistance training. As said earlier, building muscle burns more calories and those calories come from fat. So strength training prevents you from becoming obese. Also, by keeping your body fat down, you add years to your life.
Healthy Mind – have too much going on? A healthy way to deal with stress is through strength training. It also improves your mood by elevating your level of endorphins and has also been shown to be a great antidepressant. So not only does strength training have positive affects the health of your body, it also improves the health of your mind.
And please keep in mind that strength training does not only consist of lifting weights, but exercises like pushups, squats and lunges all provide strength training.
So, ask yourself this one question: do I want to look better, feel better and live a longer, healthier life? If you answered yes, then what are you waiting for? Talk to your doctor or health professional about incorporating a strength training program into your workout and reap the benefits.