Strength training is not just for “body builders” and people who want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Strength training, also called as resistance exercise and weightlifting, is an essential component of any effective weight loss program. When you strength train, you’re putting your muscles to work by using resistance tools, like free weights, machines and body weight.
What You Need to Know Before Starting
But of course, I can’t just let you undergo a strength training program without reminding you that this is strictly not for kids or teens who haven’t reached puberty age yet. Why? Well, young folks could damage their still maturing muscles and bones.
As for the rest, please go to your doctor and let him give his verdict on whether you’re fit to do this exercise or not. Don’t forget to enlist the help of a competent “certified” fitness instructor, who’ll make sure you learn the right techniques, achieve your goals, and walk out on every session injury-free.
Now that’s clear, let’s proceed.
8 Great Benefits of Strength Training
1. Great for the Bones
If done right and frequently, this could help people reduce their risk for osteoporosis. And this claim is backed up by studies, by the way.
In one randomized controlled study, forty post-menopausal white women, ages 50 to 70, were subjected to high-intensity strength training for 2 days every week for a year. What’s the result?
Lo and behold, laboratory test results showed that their bone density actually increased by 0.9 percent in the femoral neck and 10 percent in the lumbar spine.
2. Improves Sleep Quality
Insomniacs and old folks, rejoice! You can add strength training to your list of effective sleep-inducing activities.
As we all know, poor sleeping habits predispose individuals to different illnesses and accidents. Insomniacs, for one, are known to be twice more involved in vehicular accidents because of fatigue than people who get enough sleep.
Good news: Studies revealed that doing at least half an hour of strength training exercise, such as leg press and rowing, in the morning could lead to better sleep at night (38 percent).
3. Fat-Burning Machine
Strength training (high- and low-intensity) has earned a reputation for reducing body fat by around 3.0% and burn more calories all throughout the day without necessarily cutting back on caloric intake. A 16-week strength training program, for instance, could lead to decreased body fat and increased resting metabolic rate by building lean muscle mass.
4. Improves Glycemic Control
In healthy individuals, insulin hormones are produced in order to keep blood sugar in normal levels. However, that’s not the case with diabetics. And although meds and diet plans are readily available to them, these are not often enough to effectively control their blood sugar.
This is where a strength or resistance training program comes to the rescue. When used in combination with moderate weight loss, experts found out that high-intensity strength training is actually an effective tool for improving glycemic control in type 2 diabetics by increasing insulin action.
5. Reduces Risk for Depression
Around 10 percent of people who visit their doctor for physical complaints are actually depressed. Are you one of them? Then strength train. It’s an effective anti-depressant that leaves you smiling and feeling good about yourself after an intense workout.
Old folks are also prone to depression. So, if you still have your parents or grandparents around, encourage them to do this type of exercise, too.
6. Boosts Muscle Strength and Muscle Mass at Any Age
Always been teased as a weakling? Hey, get your much-deserved morale boost from resistance training. It will not only improve your psychological health, but it also develops pure muscle strength and muscle mass, if done at least 2 to 3 days every week.
7. Helps Control Weight More Effectively
As you progress through the program, your body becomes more toned. The rule of thumb is that the more muscles your body develops, the more calories it can burn, thus resulting to effective weight management.
8. Gives you extra power
Have you seen the body of athletes? Most of them have toned body, right?
If you’re an athlete, or at least physically active, you’ll know that there’s a big difference between a regular workout and high-intensity strength training. This type of exercise is a great tool for boosting your energy, strength and power in order to excel at whatever sport you’re into.
Unfortunately, many people don’t include strength training exercises in their weight loss regimen. Big mistake. If you want significant fat loss, burn more calories, feel good, and looking young, then you definitely need strength training in your life.