The benefits of strength training
Incorporating consistent exercise and physical activity into your daily life is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. A comprehensive workout routine consisting of cardiovascular activities such as walking or biking and strength training activities can increase your mental and physical well-being. Strength training exercises are safe and effective for building lean muscle mass and bone density in men and women of all ages. Even people with health concerns such as diabetes or heart disease can enjoy the benefits of strength training.
Physical benefits of strength training
Aids in weight reduction and maintenance. Increasing lean muscle mass increases your metabolism. According to the Mayo Clinic strength training builds muscle tissue which burns more calories than fat tissue. With consistent workouts your body fat will decrease and your clothes will be noticeably looser.
Decreases arthritic pain. Strength training improves muscular strength and performance and according to the Arthritis Foundation it also reduces arthritic pain and decreases disability in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Increases balance and decreases fall risks. Balance decreases with age increasing the risk of falling fractures and hospital stays. Balance exercises along with lower-body strength training can improve balance and decrease fall risks.
Health benefits of strength training
Decreases diabetes risks and insulin requirements. Aerobic and strength training exercises along with eating a healthy diet can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association and the team at Reid Diabetes & Nutrition Education strength training can increase insulin sensitivity and glycemic control even if you already have diabetes.
Lowers cardiovascular disease risks. Strength training decreases blood pressure and bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends strength training to reduce cardiovascular disease risks and as a component of cardiac rehabilitation programs.
Decreases osteoporosis risks. With age bones start to lose tissue and strength. The National Osteoporosis Foundation notes that strength training and weight-bearing exercises increase bone density and decrease fracture risks.
Mental benefits of strength training
Decreases stress and anxiety. Strength training not only benefits the body it also improves mental well-being by reducing stress and anxiety. Strength training helps your brain release naturally occurring “feel-good” chemicals called endorphins improving your mood and decreasing anxiety. In addition strength training can also help increase your confidence and self-esteem which in turn can increase your quality of life.
Improves sleep quality. Regular physical activity including strength training can improve your sleep quality. A study from the journal Sleep showed that people who performed strength training activities fell asleep quicker slept deeper and longer and reduced the number of times they awoke.
While strength training is beneficial for most people it’s still important that you talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program especially if you have a preexisting medical condition.
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