7 Benefits of Strength Training and How it Can Improve Your Health
Strength training, also known as resistance training, is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. It’s a common misconception that strength training is only for bodybuilders and athletes, but that’s not true. Strength training offers a number of health benefits for everyone, regardless of your age or fitness level.
From increasing muscle mass to reducing the risk of chronic diseases, in this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the benefits strength training.
What is strength training?
Strength training involves using weights, resistance bands, or your body weight to increase muscle strength and endurance. It can include exercises such as weight lifting, push-ups, squats, and lunges. The goal of resistance training is to challenge your muscles and build strength.
Benefits of strength training
Strength training is an incredibly beneficial form of exercise that can help people of all ages and fitness levels to improve their health and wellbeing. Not only can it help you build muscle and increase your overall strength, but it can also have a positive impact on your mental health, bone density, and metabolism.
1. Builds muscle mass
One of the most well-known benefits of strength training is that it helps you build muscle mass. When you perform strength exercises, you’re putting stress on your muscles, which causes tiny tears in the muscle fibres. When these tears repair themselves, they become stronger and larger, resulting in increased muscle mass. By gradually increasing the weight or resistance for your exercises over time (progressive overload), you can continue to challenge your muscles and promote ongoing muscle growth.
Muscle mass is essential for a variety of reasons, including improving overall strength and mobility, which is particularly important as we age.
2. Increases bone density
Strength training has also been shown to help increase bone density, which is particularly important for women, who are at a higher risk of osteoporosis as they age. By putting stress on your bones through weight-bearing exercises, you can help to stimulate bone growth and increase your overall bone density.
3. Boosts your metabolism
Strength training can also help to boost your metabolism, which is the rate at which your body burns calories. This is because muscle tissue requires more energy (in the form of calories) to maintain than fat tissue.
This means that the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn at rest, even when you’re not actively exercising. This is known as your basal metabolic rate (BMR). By increasing your muscle mass through resistance training, you can help to increase your BMR and make it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
4. Reduces risk of injury
In addition to building muscle and bone density, strength training can also help to reduce your risk of injury. By strengthening the muscles around your joints, you can help to support and protect them, reducing the risk of strains and other injuries.
5. Improves body composition
Strength training is an excellent way to improve your body composition. It is an essential component of body recomposition – the process of losing body fat while gaining or maintaining muscle mass. Having a healthy body composition is actually more important than being at a healthy weight because, contrary to popular belief, your ratio of muscle to fat is actually a better indicator of health than your weight.
If your goal is to improve your body composition, tracking your progress by weighing yourself on the scales can be misleading. Bodymapp is a great way to track your body composition changes at home! You can complete a 3D body scan using your iPhone or iPad and track up to 20 different measures of your body – including waist, stomach, body fat percentage and more. Learn more here.
6. Reduces risk of chronic diseases
Resistance training is an excellent way to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Numerous studies have shown that regular strength training can help to reduce the risk of conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. This is because it helps to improve overall cardiovascular health, reduce blood pressure, and improve insulin sensitivity, all of which are risk factors for these types of diseases.
Additionally, strength training can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which has been linked to a variety of chronic health conditions.
7. Improves mental health
Finally, strength training has been shown to have a positive impact on your mental health. Exercise, in general, is known to help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and resistance training is no exception. In fact, some studies have found that strength training can be particularly effective at reducing symptoms of anxiety and improving overall mood.
Strength training offers numerous health benefits, from increased muscle mass and strength to reduced risk of chronic diseases. It’s an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, regardless of your age or fitness level.
Remember, this is just one component of a healthy lifestyle. To get the most benefit, be sure to combine it with a healthy diet, regular cardiovascular exercise, and adequate rest.
So, if you’re looking to improve your health, consider adding resistance training to your fitness routine. With consistency and dedication, you’ll reap the benefits and enjoy a healthier, happier life.