Popular belief has it that strength training is mostly for people who want to build muscles and strength.
While there is an essence of truth there, it’s certainly not the sole benefit. The fact is, just about everyone could benefit from strength training.
It’s one of the most beneficial things you can do for your body to maintain its health.
In fact, many recent studies show that strength training exercises can improve one’s quality of life.
We’re talking about less stress, better sleep, less body fat, more energy, and even improvement in mental and emotional health.
In today’s post, I’ll list and discuss 6 that I think you could benefit the most from.
But before I do, let’s first understand what strength training is.
What is strength training?
Strength training also known as resistance training is a form of physical activity designed to improve muscular fitness by exercising a muscle or a muscle group against external resistance to build “physical strength”.
Strength training is based on the principle that a muscle or muscle group must work to overcome an opposing force.
This causes the muscle(s) to contract.
When you repeatedly do or perform strength training workouts, your muscles get stronger and denser, giving your body a toned look.
Various types of resistance
Strength training can be accomplished with various types of resistance.
This resistance can come from:
- Bodyweight training
- Free-weights (dumbbells, kettlebells, barbell, etc)
- Exercise machines
- resistance bands
- Medicine balls
The choice to incorporate a certain type of resistance depends on your level of physical fitness and familiarity with the exercise equipment as well as its availability.
Science backed benefits
Many studies documented that strength training exercises are extremely effective both for active and inactive individuals.
Especially for older individuals, strength training preserves independence while trimming your silhouette pleasingly, says Julie K. Silver, MD.
In fact, people with health concerns—including heart disease and arthritis—often benefit the most from an exercise program that includes lifting weights 2 to 3 times a week, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Strength training in conjunction with regular cardiovascular exercise can also have a profound impact on a person’s mental and emotional health.
An article published by George Mason University states that strength training workouts at moderate intensity prove to be the most effective in the reduction of anxiety symptoms as well as other benefits including:
Cognition allows a person to interpret learned information by processing and integrating it with existing knowledge.
“One research” has shown that resistance training enhances cognition by improving memory and executive functioning.
Another 12-month long study on the cognitive decline amongst seniors captured the benefit of resistance training in cognitive functions.
Their results show once-weekly or twice-weekly resistance training improved the executive function of selective attention and conflict resolution among senior women by 10-12 %.
Strength training provides similar improvements in depression as antidepressant medications, reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (5).
Currently, it is known that people feel better after they exercise, particularly strength training.
One study shows that exercise and strength training release a hormone called endorphins, neurotransmitters that improve our mood and make us feel better by enhancing pleasure and minimizing pain.
Endorphins are released during long, continuous workouts done at moderate to high intensity.
Also, people tend to be happier after weight training because they feel stronger.
3. Chronic fatigue
According to George Mason University, about 25% of Americans suffer from a feeling of fatigue or more simply put, getting tired too quickly.
Though everyone experiences fatigue at some point, too fast to feel tired can negatively impact one’s daily performance and mental health. One scientifically proven solution is exercise.
There you have it! Just about all of us can benefit from strength training.
After all, who doesn’t want to sleep better, have more energy, and be less stressed? I know I do.
I hope after reading this post, you’ll consider adding strength training to your regular workout regiment.
Do you think we missed something that you wanted to learn about strength training? Leave us a comment below to let us know.
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