The Benefits of Strength Training

The Benefits of Strength Training

The Benefits of Strength Training

Strength training refers to using a resistance to induce muscular contraction that builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles. The term is synonymous with resistance training weight training, and weightlifting. Nearly everyone can reap the benefits of strength training, including older adults and those with arthritis, osteoporosis, and other diseases. Common forms of strength training include free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, and body weight exercises. As always, please receive physician clearance before participating in a new exercise program.

Increased metabolism & weight maintenance – Strength training increases your metabolism in two ways. First, lifting weights increases the number of calories your body burns following a workout compared to simply performing cardio. It takes a lot of energy for your muscles to work for an extended period of time and to effectively recover, causing your metabolism to climb for several hours. Second, as you begin to increase your muscle mass, your body will become more efficient at using extra calories to feed your hard-working muscles and provide adequate energy to them.

Chronic disease management – Strength training is effective for managing obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, back pain, and depression.

Improved bone strength – By applying resistance to your bones, you are placing stress on them, initiating the bone-building process. This leads to increased bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

Increased aerobic capacity – Physical activity, in general, is beneficial to the heart. By lifting weights, you are increasing the amount of blood flow to various muscles and requiring your heart to work harder than usual to supply adequate blood. To turn a resistance activity into an aerobic exercise for even greater benefits to your heart, you can lower the resistance, perform more reps, and decrease your rest time between sets and exercises.

Injury prevention – By strengthening your muscles, and especially the muscles in your core and legs, you will be less likely to experience an injury to your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Increased core strength will improve your balance and posture, decreasing your risk of falling and fall-related injuries.

Increased flexibility – When you take your joints through their full range of motion during weight lifting, you increase your overall flexibility, which can help prevent muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries during physical activity.

 

References

  1. Resistance Train to Prevent Muscle Loss
  2. Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier

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Collette Sinnott, RD, CPT

Hi there! I am a registered dietitian & certified personal trainer with a love of cooking and the outdoors! I created this blog to share my nutrition and fitness expertise and promote healthy lifestyles focused on disease prevention. I advocate for variety in food choices without restriction and encourage others to eat mostly nutrient-dense foods while including enjoyable foods. I am also passionate about fitness and recognize the benefit in moving a little each day!

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