Fitness & Exercise

How Strength Training Is Beneficial to Your Health

How does strength training help? Aside from the well-publicized (and regularly Instagrammed) advantage of increasing tone and definition to your muscles, how does it help? Here are a few examples of the numerous options:

1. Strength training helps you get stronger and more fit.

This advantage is self-evident, but it should not be disregarded. “Muscle strength is critical in making it easier to accomplish the tasks you need to do on a daily basis,” Pire adds, especially as we age and lose muscle gradually.
Strength training is also known as resistance training because it includes contracting your muscles against a resisting force in order to build and tone them. There are two forms of resistance training, according to the Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine:

  • Isometric resistance is achieved by tightening muscles against a stationary object, such as the floor in a pushup.
  • Isotonic strength training, like weight lifting, includes contracting your muscles over a range of motion.

2. Strength training helps to maintain bone health and muscle mass

According to Harvard Health Publishing, we begin losing 3 to 5 percent of our lean muscle mass every decade around the age of 30.

A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research in October 2017 found that 30 minutes twice a week of high intensity resistance and impact training improved functional performance, as well as bone density, structure, and strength in postmenopausal women with low bone mass — with no negative effects.

Similarly, the HHS physical activity guidelines state that muscle strengthening exercises help everyone maintain or grow muscular mass, strength, and power, all of which are important for bone, joint, and muscle health as we age.

3. Strength training aids in the efficient burning of calories

Every form of exercise aids in the acceleration of your metabolism (the rate your resting body burns calories throughout the day).

After strength training, your body continues to burn calories as it returns to a more relaxed condition, as it does with both aerobic exercise and strength training (in terms of energy exerted). According to the American Council on Exercise, this is a process called “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.”

When you undertake strength, weight, or resistance training, however, your body needs more energy based on the amount of energy you exert (the harder you work, the more energy is needed). As a result, depending on how much energy you put into the workout, you may amp up the impact. That means more calories are burnt both during and after the workout, while your body recovers to a resting state.

4. Strength training aids in long-term weight loss.

Strength training can assist exercisers lose weight faster than aerobic exercise alone, according to Pire, since it increases surplus post-exercise oxygen consumption. “[Resistance or strengthening exercise] keeps your metabolism functioning for a significantly longer period of time after you exercise than an aerobic workout.”

A research published in the journal Obesity in November 2017 revealed that dieters who conducted strength training activities four times a week for 18 months lost the most fat compared to dieters who didn’t exercise and those who just did aerobic exercise (about 18 pounds, compared with 10 pounds for nonexercisers and 16 pounds for aerobic exercisers).

When strength training is paired with calorie reduction through nutrition, you may be able to lose even more body fat. A small study published in January 2018 in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that people who followed a combined full-body resistance training and diet for four months lost more fat while gaining more lean muscle mass than those who followed either resistance training or dieting alone.

5. Strength training aids in the development of improved body mechanics.

According to previous studies, strength exercise improves your balance, coordination, and posture.

One study published in November 2017 in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research found that doing at least one resistance training session per week — either alone or as part of a programme with multiple types of workouts — resulted in up to a 37 percent increase in muscle strength, a 7.5 percent increase in muscle mass, and a 58 percent increase in functional capacity (linked to risk of faltering).

Pire points out that “balance is based on the power of the muscles that maintain you on your feet.” “The more powerful those muscles are, the better your balance will be.”

6. Strength training can aid in the management of chronic diseases.

Strength training has been shown in studies to assist patients with a variety of chronic illnesses, including neuromuscular disorders, HIV, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and certain malignancies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a research published in June 2017 in Diabetes Therapy, strength training along with other healthy lifestyle modifications can assist improve glucose control for the more than 30 million Americans with type 2 diabetes.

Regular resistance exercise may also help avoid chronic mobility issues, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, according to study published in Frontiers in Psychology in 2019.

7. Strength training improves your mood and boosts your energy levels.

According to a meta-analysis of 33 clinical studies published in JAMA Psychiatry in June 2018, strength training is a viable therapy option (or add-on treatment) for depressive symptoms.

“All exercise improves mood by increasing endorphins,” Pire explains. However, he says, more study into the neurochemical and neuromuscular reactions to strength training provides more evidence that it has a favourable effect on the brain.

According to a research published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychology in the January–February 2019 issue, strength training may also help you sleep better.

And we all know how important it is to have a good night’s sleep in order to maintain a positive attitude.

8. Strength training has been shown to improve cardiovascular health.

Muscle-strengthening exercises, in addition to aerobic exercise, can improve blood pressure and lower the risk of hypertension and heart disease, according to the HHS.