When you think of strength training, do you picture massive, sculpted body builders in a fancy gyms? That’s a false stereotype, but a common one!
Strength training exercises aren’t just for bodybuilders or athletes. In fact, many people perform strength training routines without realizing it simply by adding weights to their usual forms of exercise – like stretching or Zumba.
After all, strength training is merely exercising using weights and resistance in order to build up the strength of the muscles. Common forms of strength training include:
- Using free weights like barbells and dumbbells
- Using the body weight via pushups and other exercises
- Using weight machines that can be altered and used to target specific muscles and motions
- Using resistance bands and equipment
There are a ton of benefits of strength training through forms like these!
The many health benefits of strength training are proof enough that you should start lifting and using weights as soon as possible. Just consider these top 10 reasons for strength training:
1. Because If You’re Not Strong, You’re Weak
One of the most obvious strength training benefits is that the practice makes you stronger. Duh, right? Not everyone recognizes how true that fact is. If you don’t use your muscles, you lose them. Muscle is a tissue like any other, and when it isn’t used, it loses its functional capacity until strengthened again.
People who don’t use their muscles find them shrinking with age. Consequently, they get weaker. When muscles are weak they don’t work as well, making you more dependent on others for even the most basic of functions.
2. You Can Actually Gain Muscle Mass
Even if you have been weak and out of shape, strength training targets your muscle tissue in such a way that it rebuilds. As you get stronger, your muscles grow bigger.
3. Creates A Slimmer, Trimmer Figure
Interestingly enough, the bigger your muscles get, the better you look. Unlike bulges of fat that totally don’t want growing in size, when your muscles get bigger, your skin gets taut. You look more toned. Your body takes on a trim shape that appears sleek and fit.
4. Can Help You Keep The Weight Off
As you build muscle through strength training, you also burn calories. If you burn enough calories, your body will resort to using stored energy for fuel instead. That means that your body will draw on your stores of fat, using (and burning!) your fat off. As a result, strength training is yet another exercise that blasts fat and helps you to keep weight off (or lose it to begin with.)
5. Will Boost Your Mechanical Functions
To perform strength training exercises, you have to use those muscles of yours. Most strength training exercises require technique and precision, so you end up training your muscles to move in specific ways. This gives you better muscle control, which means that your mechanical functions – like bending – are improved.
6. To Prevent Injury
Weak muscles get injured more easily than strong ones. Just think about it: a weak muscle will be strained much more by basic activities since it is out of shape. If you want to be able to perform ordinary functions –and some extraordinary ones, like going for hikes- then your muscles need to be healthy enough to not injured in the process. Strength training helps with that.
7. Increases Your Flexibility
Muscles that are healthy are also flexible. Since they are used to stretching, being challenged, and growing, healthy muscles are simply able to do more, which means you can, too!
8. To Protect Your Muscles, Tissues, and Bones
The human body is an intricate system. When you work one part of it, you also work others. For instance, when your muscles get a workout through strength training, your organs and bones do as well. Strength training consequently improves bone and joint health, decreasing your risk of degenerative disease like osteoporosis.
9. Allows Your Body to Work Better Internally
Beside your muscles, joints, and bones, many of your organs and other internal systems have to work out in order for your to perform strength training exercises. Your heart, your blood vessels, your brain, and your lungs all have major roles to play, for instance. So do your nerves!
The more you use these systems, the stronger and healthier they all are. That often translates to decreased risk of a number of illnesses.
10. Improves The Mental State
Last but not least, if you want to feel better in general, try strength training.
As a result of growing stronger muscles you will:
- Boost your confidence
- Improve your mood
- Increase the endorphins and other positive hormones released in your body
- Fight off mental illness like depression or loss of memory
- Reduce your stress levels
That sounds nice, doesn’t it? So, get to work!