Why is strength training important???
1. Muscle helps you keep the fat off!
One study shows that adding strength training to your workout regimen 3 days a week can help increase the amount of calories burned during normal activities. Why? Because the more muscle you are having to work the more you are going to burn! You burn calories during strength training but did you know that your body continues to burn more calories after your workout? Strength training can boost your metabolism up to 20 percent.
2. Protects those bones!
Adding strength training helps prevent bone loss. Did you know that you lose approximately 1% of your bone mass every year after the age of 40? Calcium alone can’t fix all the damage, you need to contribute to the cause too! A research study by Ontario’s McMaster University(1) found that a year-long strength training program increased the spinal bone mass of postmenopausal women by nine percent! I know so many people with degenerative disks in their back and strengthening the core will help.
3. Work it, harder, make it, better, do it, faster, makes us, STRONGER… (Did you read that without singing it?)
Strength training benefits all athletes. Losing fat mass can make you lighter, which intern takes strain off over other movements. Making your muscles work to contract makes you stronger. If you think about it, which is easier: Jumping while holding a 10lb rock or jumping with nothing? Training with the rock is going to make you jump higher when you don’t have the rock. Muscles do need time to recover with strength training. It’s recommend to break strength training into sections, back & chest, arms, legs, etc. so that you have rest time before straining those muscles. Did you know that strength training actually causes tiny tears in the muscle, which “scars” and creates a bigger mass but also strengthens them? Don’t be discouraged ladies, I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone complain about firm round buns. 😉
4. Helps with posture.
Strength training can help improve your balance and posture, your core contributes to a just about every body function. Making those muscles stronger will help take the strain off your back. Making sure you have proper form when lifting can even increase your rage of motion. I included a website below that lists a few really great strength training exercise for better posture. (2)
5. Stay a little healthier!
Many health benefits from strength training, suggested it may help with arthritis pain, help maintain glucose levels in diabetics, increase bone density. Arthritis sufferers will benefit from strength training because you’re strengthening the muscles that support the joint, helps take the strain off. A Harvard study(3) found that men who do at least 150 minutes of strength training per week cut their risk of type 2 diabetes by about 34%… What is there not to like about that?
6. Introducing Dr. Feel-good
Strength training gives a natural boost of endorphins. Going to the gym and doing lite sets probably won’t get you going. Push yourself and get to feeling that burn, or as I like to call it the Jell-O effect, you know you work so hard you feel like Jell-O! I always feel better after kickin’ my own butt at a workout. When you’re feeling down and speak to a doctor, one of the first questions they so is do you exercise regularly? It’s a natural antidepressant. It will even help you sleep better and just feel better in general(4). Cardio is good for mood boosting too, helps me to run my stress off!
Who does strength training benefit?
The answer is EVERYONE! Don’t be discouraged by weight machines. Every gym I’ve ever been to has someone standing around who would be more than happy to show you how to use a machine! If you still aren’t comfortable try starting with small hand weights. YouTube has plenty how to videos. Please check out mine HERE. Just remember not to bite off more than you can chew. It is better to work your way up than to risk injury. Don’t be afraid to ask me any questions you may have too! Darcisfitkick@gmail.com
If you have a previous injury or health condition, please talk to your doctor about the best place to start your new strength training at.
(1) https://macsphere.mcmaster.ca/bitstream/11375/11343/1/fulltext.pdf This one is a long article but it has a lot of great facts if you have the desire to learn more about the study and other studies too.
(4) http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/exercise-and-depression-report-excerpt I really like the Harvard website. They have done a lot of medical studies that just fascinate me. If you’re curious about something specific Google a Harvard study on it, lots of info.