Strength training isn’t just for those looking to bulk up their muscles for summer. In fact, strength training can help anyone, with benefits ranging from physical and emotional, to mental! Strength training encompasses anything that strengthens and tones muscles against resisting force and can be done at home without equipment or in the gym. Isometric resistance involves contracting muscles against a non-moving object, such as push-ups. Isotonic strength training, on the other hand, involves contracting your muscles through a range of motion, such as when weightlifting. Both types of training have benefits and incorporating strength training into your regular workout routine has long-lasting health benefits. Let’s take a look at the top 11 benefits you can see from consistent strength training.
If you are looking for easier day-to-day movements, look no further than strength training. By toning muscles against resisting force, you build muscle mass while training your body to maintain typical range of motion.
- Protect bone health and muscle mass
Did you know that by the age of 30, humans lose an average of 3-5% of lean muscle mass per year. Muscle mass is essential for bone, joint, and muscle health! Thankfully, 30 minutes twice a week improves functional performance, bone density, increases muscle mass, strength and power.
- Keep weight off
You might think that aerobic exercise is the golden bullet for weight control. However, strength training actually increases your resting metabolism for longer active metabolism post-exercise than aerobic workouts!
- Chronic disease management
Strength training has a multitude of benefits for chronic disease management. With consistent strength training, patients with arthritis showed decreased pain, individuals with Type-2 diabetes showed improved glucose control, and the increase in bone mineral density helps manage and prevent osteoporosis.
- Boost energy levels and improve mood
Endorphins flow more freely during and after strength training, which can cause a lift in energy, improved mood, and even lead to better sleep.
- Cardiovascular health benefits
Strength training improves blood pressure, it’s as simple as that. Twice weekly weightlifting in combination with at least 150 minutes of weekly moderate to intense activity have been proven to reduce hypertension and lower risk of heart disease.
- Decrease risk of injury
By strengthening bones and muscles through strength training, your body can build a higher resistance to injuries, aches, and pains as well as reduce the severity of falls.
- Reduce cancer risk
You read that right: strength training reduces your risk of cancer. Muscle mass is a strong predictor of cancer treatment outcomes since muscle wasting is a common complication of cancer treatment!
- Strengthen mental health
Strength training provides the opportunity to overcome obstacles in a controlled environment, which can increase mental resiliency and improve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Improve flexibility and mobility
Strength training exercises involve a full range of motion, which actually increases your range of motion over time. Additionally, eccentric strength exercises, which are exercises that emphasize muscle lengthening rather than shortening, improve hamstring flexibility twice as well as static exercises. Get ready to touch those toes!
- Boost brain health
Adults suffering from mild cognitive decline have shown improvement in cognition when weight training twice weekly.