Strength training is arguably the best thing you can do for your body after eating a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables and lean protein. Unfortunately, too many people at the gym either don’t do it or do it wrong.
Strength training can mean anything from traditional weight training to body weight training to boot camp classes. No matter which method you choose, strength training has multiple benefits for your physical and mental health. Let’s check out 5 reasons now!
Good Reasons for Strength Training
1. Strength Training Makes You Stronger
This benefit of strength training is obvious: Strength training makes you stronger. Proper strength training rebuilds and grows new muscle tissue, making you able to lift more weight over time. This doesn’t just translate into lifting heavily dumbbells but to benefits improving your everyday life.
For example, have you ever wanted to carry your 8-year-old child up the stairs without panting or stopping to put him down after the second stair? Strength training can help you get to the top of the stairs!
2. Strength Training Helps You Lose Body Fat
Strength training gives you the biggest return for your investment in exercise. As you lift weights you will start to gain lean muscle. As your lean muscle mass increases throughout your body so too your resting metabolism. In other words, you will burn more calories throughout the day even when you’re in front of the TV watching the latest Game of Thrones episode!
Fitness professionals generally agree that for every pound of muscle you gain, you will burn between 125-250 more calories a day.
3. Strength Training Reduces Your Risk of Injury
While strength training primarily builds muscle tissue, it will also build and strengthen connective tissues like ligaments and tendons. Both ligaments and tendons are important for joint stability. Strong joints can help prevent injuries.
4. Strength Training Relieves Stress and Improves Mental Health
Ever had a bad day at work? Strength training is a great stress reliever! You can lift heavy stuff, throw it around, and grunt out all that negativity. No one will even blink an eye!
Exercise releases endorphins that can help improve your mood and decrease your stress. Numerous studies indicate regular exercise can also reduce anxiety and depression. A win-win!
5. Strength Training Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes and Death
Just being active reduces your risk of multiple chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Cardio exercise is definitely the best for getting the heart pumping but a 2010 study indicated resistance exercises could offer greater benefits from increased blood flow to active muscles. Experts recommend combining the two for the best chance of reducing your risk of heart disease.
Strength training is a great way to help control blood sugar levels. When you lift weights your muscles use glucose from your bloodstream as fuel to power them. Strength training also promotes weight loss, which is an important goal for many diabetics or those looking to reduce their chances of developing diabetes.
According to research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology (Am J Epidemiol. 2018;187(5):1102–1112),
Participation in any form of strength training exercise was associated with a 31 percent lower risk of cancer mortality and a 23 percent lower risk of all-cause mortality —independent of whether the person met aerobic guidelines as well— versus adults who did not regularly participate in any form of strength training.[note]”Strength Training Benefits Don’t Just Come from the Gym”, 23-Apr-2018, http://tinyurl.com/yda835l7 (accessed 6-May-2018, quoting Emmanuel Stamatakis et al, “Does strength promoting exercise confer unique health benefits? A pooled analysis of eleven population cohorts with all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular mortality endpoints”, American journal of epidemiology (2017).[/note]
So, ladies and gentleman, it’s time to start strength training! There are just too many benefits not to pick up a weight or do a push-up. Become the healthiest, strongest and most bad-ass version of yourself today!