Strength training is often associated with bodybuilders and powerlifters. While this type of training can help in increasing lean muscle, it can also provide many great health, fitness and wellbeing benefits.
Reduced Risk of Osteoporosis
Strength training increases the strength of the bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. This can help to decrease the risk of injury and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. A study was performed which assessed the effects of high-intensity strength training on menopausal women who in general are at a significantly greater risk of osteoporosis due to their age and unbalanced hormones. The study revealed that women who engaged in regular high-intensity strength training were able to preserve total mineral bone density much better than those who did not engage in such exercise. They also experienced improved muscular strength and dynamic balance and increased muscle mass.
Increased Muscle Mass
Muscle is partially responsible for the number of calories we burn. Increased muscle mass can elevate calorific expenditure and potentially assist in the reduction of body fat. As we age, we lose muscle, so strength training can be particularly beneficial for older adults. What’s more, compound exercises using more than one muscle group can be performed to provide workouts that are more time-efficient and also challenging on the cardiovascular system.
Positive Effect on Psychological Wellbeing
Strength training can be empowering. If strength exercise is performed consistently with challenging weights, measurable progress can be seen both in performance and the aesthetic physique which can be motivating in itself. Exercise also boosts the levels of the chemical neurotransmitter serotonin which is responsible for enhancing the mood.
Functional Physical Benefits
Strength training can provide benefit in everyday life. Ordinary tasks will feel easier, objects will feel lighter, and the body will work more efficiently in functional physical movements so that less effort will be required to perform basic activities. Strength training can also compliment other exercise forms like cardio and sport.
It’s important that if you do engage in strength training that you perform the exercises correctly to avoid injury and to achieve the best possible results. Employing the services of a fitness professional to show you the correct exercise techniques would be beneficial if you are new to exercise or to this type of training. Aim to start with at least two workouts per week, increasing this in frequency as you grow stronger. To reap the most benefit from strength training, each set of each exercise should be challenging. If you start to find an exercise easy, or if you feel that you could safely lift heavier weight, do so. Combine strength-training with regular cardiovascular exercise to create a well-rounded fitness program.