Strength training is one of the best physical exercises that a person can engage in. Besides helping you to develop muscles, strength training benefits you in so many ways if you do it on a regular basis. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the major benefits of strength training. Hopefully at the end of this article (after you have seen all the benefits of this physical exercise), you’d become a huge fan of strength training exercises.
What are some of the major benefits of performing strength training exercises?
Some of the numerous benefits that the average person gets to enjoy when he or she regularly engages in strength training exercises include the following:
Prevention of excessive weight gain
It is extremely rare to see someone who regularly performs strength training exercises to be obese or overweight. I personally haven’t seen a person who regularly engages in strength training and suffers from obesity. I don’t know about you. But I can confidently bet that the same applies to you. This just goes to show you how important strength training is in preventing excessive weight gain. The reason why it is difficult for a person who regularly performs strength training exercise to put on excessive weight is simply because this physical exercise makes us to develop muscle. And science has proven time and again that the more muscle that you develop, the more your body burns calories efficiently. According to scientists, muscle burns more calories than fat does. It is believed that a pound of muscle can burn almost 10 calories per day. On the other hand, a pound of fat can only burn at most 3 calories a day. This is the reason why a person who is heavily muscular rarely suffers from weight problems and finds it easier controlling his or her weight.
One of the biggest advantages of regularly performing strength training exercises is the fact that it makes us to develop stronger bones by increasing the bone density. Naturally as we human beings get older, our bones begin to decrease in density. When bone density reduces, the bones become weaker and brittle. If this continues for a long time, it can eventually lead to a medical condition called osteoporosis. When you have osteoporosis, your bones are very weak and break easily. But when you engage in regular strength training, you massively reduce your risk of suffering from weak bones and osteoporosis since your bone density is going to be significantly increased.
Strength and fitness
The majority of people who regularly engage in strength training exercises are normally stronger and fitter than people who don’t. This is what you get from regular strength training. As the name implies, strength training exercise, will give you strength and energy to go about performing tasks that you would have otherwise found quite difficult or impossible doing. In addition to this, strength training will also boost your stamina, thereby reducing your likelihood of getting fatigued when performing certain tasks. This is the reason why sportsmen and women do not take for granted strength training exercise. For example, a footballer who regularly performs strength training in addition to other physical activities and training has a higher chance of excelling than another footballer who doesn’t engage in frequent strength training exercises.
Muscle loss solution
As we become older, our muscle mass begins to diminish. This is something that happens naturally. It is believed that the average adult loses over a pound of muscles every year. The loss of muscles makes us weaker as we get older. This is the reason why the elderly are generally weaker than the young. The more muscles you lose as you get older, the weaker you are going to become. But the rate at which we lose muscle can be reduced if we engage in frequent strength training. According to doctors, strength training plays a very significant role in slowing down the rate at which our muscle mass diminishes as we get older.
Strength training exercise gives relief from certain medical conditions and injuries
Studies have proven that people who regularly engage in strength training exercises are able to get some relief from the pains and discomforts associated with certain chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, back pain, etc. So for example, if Tom and John both suffer from back pain problems, and Tom regularly performs strength training exercises whereas John doesn’t, there’s going to be a high chance that John will suffer more from the pains and discomfort associated with back pain.
Improves the rate at which the brain functions
According to many researchers, regular strength training is capable of making the brain more active and improving the way it functions as we grow older. These researchers therefore advise people to engage in frequent strength training exercises in order to avoid the situation of a reduced ability to maintain focus during old age.
Helps to improve your mood
All physical exercises have the ability to improve your mood, and strength training is no exception. According to research, strength training plays an instrumental role in improving a person’s mood, thereby fighting depression and stress. Why does strength training improve your mood? Studies have shown that when you engage in physical activities (cardiovascular exercises and strength training) such as jogging, weight lifting, pushup, etc, your body naturally releases endorphins (feel-good chemicals) that improve your mood and put you in a more relaxed state. This is the reason why doctors are quick to recommend physical activity to people suffering from stress and depression. When you exercise for a substantial amount of time, the endorphins released will eventually improve your mood.
Besides the endorphins (feel-good chemicals) released during workouts that improve the average person’s mood, another reason why regular strength training helps in making you feel better is because of the fact that it keeps you in good shape. When you are fit and look great, the mere thought of this is capable of increasing your confidence and self-esteem, thereby making you feel good about yourself. Everybody knows that people who feel good about themselves tend to be happier than people who don’t.
Good for the health of the heart
Often times when we think of exercises that are good for the cardiovascular system, rarely do we think of strength training exercises. But believe it or not, many strength training exercises are very good for the health of the heart. A good example of a strength training exercise that is very good for the cardiovascular system is pushup. When engaging in strength training exercises – especially an exercise like the pushup, you use a lot of muscles at the same time. And as you use these muscles, your heart (which is also a muscle) will be forced to work harder so that it can pump oxygen-rich blood to all the muscles being used during the training process. As the heart works harder performing this job, the heart muscles are exercised and become stronger. A stronger heart muscle translates into a healthy heart.
It is very interesting to note that when we think of exercises and good health, we rarely think of strength training. The kinds of exercises we normally think of when we think of exercises for our health are cardiovascular exercises such as jogging, running, biking, etc. Hardly do we think of strength training exercises such as weight lifting, pushups, pull-ups, etc as good exercises for the health. But as you have seen from the benefits mentioned above, strength training exercises are also great in keeping us healthy and strong. While majority of strength training exercises are best done in the gym, there are some very effective ones such as pushups and leg squats that can be done from the comfort of your home. I personally recommend doing pushup since it happens to be one of the simplest and yet most effective strength training exercise that you can do anywhere – whether at home or outside. You can read more about the benefits of pushups here.
Before signing off, it is imperative that readers know that it is not advisable to practice strength training every day in order to enjoy some of the benefits mentioned above. Engaging in strength training exercise on a daily basis can easily cause you injuries since the muscles need time to recover after being exercised. Experts advise us to practice strength training exercise between three and five times a week for an average of thirty minutes each time.