By Alex Kelly
Whether you are an exercise beginner or an experienced gym-goer, strength training (also known as resistance training) is arguably the most important aspect of your fitness routine. Strength training can generally be defined as any body weight or equipment-based (dumbbells, kettlebells, etc.) movement that builds muscle mass, muscular strength, and muscular endurance including hypertrophy, maximum muscular strength, and explosive power training. This training can help any individual reach their personalized health and fitness goals. Below are five of the many benefits of strength training.
- Strength Training helps you reach your weight loss/gain goals in a healthy manner
Resistance training, in addition to a healthy and protein-rich diet, helps you increase overall muscle mass. This increases your metabolic rate which allows you to burn more calories at rest leading to a reduction in body fat. The increased metabolism at rest, as well as the increased metabolism up to 72 hours after strength training, can contribute to body fat and weight loss.
If weight gain is your goal, strength training provides the stimulus for muscle growth and healthy weight gain. Although it may be tempting to “dirty bulk” with an excess of unhealthy foods, maintaining a balanced, calorie surplus diet with resistance training will increase body weight without the complications associated with increased body fat from bulking.
- Strength Training improves heart function and health
Resistance training performed on a regular basis has been shown to decrease blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and improve circulation due to the strengthening that occurs in the heart and blood vessels. Resistance training can be used as a preventative measure for certain chronic diseases such as Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In these circumstances, resistance training should only be incorporated with clearance from or under the supervision of a medical professional.
- Resistance training improves bone strength
Weight baring exercises, such as the ones incorporated into strength programs, put stress on bones which cues building cells to increase bone density. This is especially relevant in the aging female population where osteopenia and osteoporosis are more common. Strength training can be used as a preventative measure to combat these diseases and the issues that arise because of them such as falls and fractures.
- Resistance training decreases your risk of falling and getting injured
By utilizing strength training, you are better able to support the weight of your own body while also dynamically stabilizing your everyday movements. This makes strength training relevant not only to a younger population who wants to improve their appearance, but also to seniors and those recovering from past injuries who want to focus more on mobility.
Resistance training positively impacts the stabilization of the major joints in the body such as the knees, hips, and ankles through an improved range of motion and muscular, ligament, and tendon mobility. It can correct the muscular imbalances that individuals face on a day-to-day basis to improve posture and address nagging aches.
- Strength Training improves your mood and brain health
Numerous studies have shown that regular strength training can reduce anxiety through mood regulation. Individuals may see an increase in their self-esteem and self-efficacy due to the release of endorphins after strength training.
Additionally, strength training has been shown to reduce age-related cognitive decline. Resistance training can improve processing speed, memory, and executive function which is linked largely to the improved blood flow, reduced inflammation, and increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is related to learning and memory.
These are just a select few of the many benefits of resistance training. To set up a complimentary consultation with one of our professionals to learn more about our strength training options, please click here.
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