A lot of people think strength training is just for professional athletes or just to look big and bulky but first we need to understand what strength training is and the role it has to improve our bodies, so I wanted to share some of the benefits of incorporating weight training as part of your exercise routine, so you can all be stronger and healthier every day.
Strength training: Exercises with resistance to strengthen and condition the musculoskeletal system. It will help improve muscle tone and endurance.
MY LIST OF BENEFITS
- Weight training helps raise your basal metabolism rate (also known as resting metabolism; amount of energy your body uses at rest to maintain vital functions like breathing and blood circulation), so you'll burn more calories even on days you're giving your body a break from working out.
- Helps you lose unwanted body fat. Muscle tissue burns more calories so building muscle mass is an important key for losing or maintaining a healthy weight. The formula to succeed: A good combination of resistance training, aerobic exercise, rest and clean eating.
- Weight training counteracts muscle loss associated with aging which can cause a decline in your metabolism. Did you know you can lose approximately 0.5 pound of muscle yearly after your 30s if you don't strength train regularly? Remember...“We do not stop exercising because we grow old; we grow old because we stop exercising.”
- Weight training gives you more energy.
- Remember that your muscles are important to produce movement. Training with strength and also with flexibility will help you improve full range of motion in your body.
- Weight training will help keeps your bones stronger, reducing your risk of having to deal with osteoporosis.
- Makes you stronger in your everyday activities, like carrying groceries, doing house chores, playing with your kids, etc.
- It'll improve your endurance, so you can last longer and your daily activities won't wear you out fast.
- Reduces your risk of getting injured by making your connective tissues stronger.
- Reduces arthritis pain. When you strengthen your muscles, you are cushioning and protecting your joints better.
- Improves your performance when you’re playing your favorite sport with friends or with your kids. Remember that spending quality time with your kids by keeping your family active is PRICELESS.
- Toned and sexy muscles for you ladies - NOT huge muscles like a man. Remember: Women have about 15 to 20 times less testosterone than men. I'll add that according to the author of The New Rules of Lifting for Women (Lou Schuler), "Unless you're an extreme genetic outlier, you [as a woman] can't get too bulky. Women's bodies simply don't have the same genetic makeup as men's, so our muscles do not grow the same way".
- When you lift weights, you learn persistence, self-control, discipline and you'll feel stronger, which will help you build self-confidence.
- Helps to manage symptoms of depression, alleviate stress. After exercising, your "feel good hormones" (Endorphin levels) will increase making you feel REBORN. Keep up with your training, and your self-confidence and energy levels will improve.
- Weight training reduces your chances of having low-back injuries. Just make sure a correct form comes first before adding heavier weights, that you are not neglecting muscle groups in your body and that you are also stretching regularly.
- When you lift weights, you are decreasing your resting blood pressure. It is also important to watch your sodium intake too.
- It reduces insulin resistance and decreases your risk of having diabetes - paired up with a balanced nutrition.
- Weight training decreases your risk of developing types of cancer like colon cancer by reducing gastrointestinal transit time.
- Weight training increases your good cholesterol (HDL) but again, paired with aerobic exercise and clean eating.
- Improves your body's mechanisms - Your Balance, Coordination and Posture.
- It can reduce your risk of falling by 40%, especially when you grow older.
- Strength training improves the functioning of the immune system. Why? Because muscles are the primary site where an amino acid called glutamine is formed, which is a fuel source that makes many cells of the immune system work properly. Your muscles store protein - the extra protein will help to produce antibodies and white blood cells to fight off infections and to attack cancerous cells. If you don't strength train, you'll lose your ability to create the cells you'll need to fight illness.
- It can lower your chances of heart disease and heart attack.
- Strength training will also help post-menopausal women increase their bone density; this way there'll be fewer risks of bone injuries.
- You'll sleep better! Exercise will help you improve your sleep patterns. And both exercise plus sleeping better will make wonders with your Immunity.
What are you waiting for? Add a challenge to your life by spicing up your workouts. There are so many strength training moves you can do to vary your training, make it challenging so you can see results. Remember that when your body gets used to the same exercise routine, you'll hit a plateau.
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What do you think? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.
*Before starting a strength training routine, consult with your doctor to check if you're 100% to perform most of the exercises and see which ones to avoid depending on any health issues you have. Also find the help of a personal trainer to teach you how to do each exercise correctly to avoid injuries. Depending on your daily schedule and fitness goals, a personal trainer can design a workout routine to fit your needs.