Strength training refers to lifting weights as part of your exercise routine. It not only tones your body but also helps you become stronger.
But these are two of the most basic things that strength training does for you.
Majority of the population, mostly women are totally against the idea of lifting weights. They feel it makes their body super muscular and makes them look manly. This is perhaps the biggest myth of the century.
More people need to be educated about the advantages of training their muscles to become fit and strong.
Still not sure if strength training is a valuable addition to your regular exercise routine? Here are some interesting benefits you’ve got to know!
1. It Boosts your Metabolism
When you lift weights, your muscles convert the stored fat into muscle. This means that your metabolic rate improves drastically.
The higher the rate of your metabolism, the more fat your body will burn and the fitter you will be. What is even more intriguing is that even when you finish working out your body will continue to burn calories.
People who weight train are also able to maintain the stability their body needs. It helps in keeping the balance right too.
2. Keeps Osteoporosis at Bay
The more you exercise the stronger your bones will become. The reason osteoporosis risk decreases with strength training is that lifting weights increases mineral density.
Flexibility and mobility also increase which means that in later years, your bones bend easily without pain and discomfort.
Research shows that lifting weight means gravity causes slight stress on the body and this helps strengthen bones and muscles.
What’s more, when the muscles contract, they cause bone cells to release a structural protein which helps in absorption of minerals into the bone.
In simplest words, strength training is the perfect routine you can give to your muscles as well as bones.
3. Helps Regulate Blood Sugar
Research has made it obvious that with resistance training type II diabetes stays perfectly in control.
Even if you do not experience sugar spikes currently, lifting weight will ensure that your blood sugar levels remain normal.
When muscles grow strong, they are better able to use glucose and supply it to the rest of the body when need be.
Your muscles absorb glucose from the blood. Interestingly your muscles are active and perform much better with strength training as compared to when there is no weightlifting.
This way, your blood contains only the amount of sugar that should be there and not an ounce more.
If you are among those who have diabetes running in their family, you should start resistance training immediately as it would stave off your chances of developing diabetes any time soon.
4. Reduces Risks of Major Diseases
This may sound rather far-fetched to you, but there have been many studies conducted on people who strength train.
A recent study revealed that women who lift weights have a lower risk of developing type II diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
This possibly happened because their muscles were stronger and the chances of gaining unwanted weight were low. Their body mass index was on the lower side and they were also mostly non-smokers.
Studies have also made it clear that people who are regular with their strength training routines are less likely to develop diseases like cardiovascular issues, diabetes, cancer, obesity, hypertension, and high cholesterol.
This is a clear indication of how beneficial lifting weights is for the body.
5. Improves Flexibility and Mobility
Did you know that lifting weight can make your body more flexible?
Studies show that the right amount of weight and proper body positioning when you are carrying those weights could have a dramatic effect on your mobility as well as flexibility.
When older women who used to strength train were tested, the stretchability of their muscles and bones was a lot better than those who didn’t.
These were also the women who did not experience osteoporosis or had any kind of bone breakage or cracks.
What can you do to improve body flexibility and mobility? Combine weight training with cardio or exercises like squats or lunges. You will notice a difference in your strength, flexibility as well as mobility.
6. Improves Brain Health
It isn’t only your body that benefits from strength training. Studies show that people who engage in weightlifting notice increased mental resilience.
What’s more, they have higher brain functioning because they feel fresher and more active as compared to other people.
But this is not where it ends. Research shows that older people when they perform resistance training experience improved cognitive functioning over time.
They not only remember things better, they are also able to perform problem-solving tasks with more accuracy and make better decisions. Remember, the stronger your muscles, the stronger your brain.
7. Helps Prevent Mental Conditions
This is another very interesting fact about lifting weights, it keeps mental diseases at bay too. From stress to anxiety, depression to memory loss, all kinds of mental illnesses take a back seat when your muscles are strong and toned.
Many researchers believe that this could be because when the muscles are strong, they allow for better absorption of glucose and rapid transfer of blood to the brain cells.
Hence the reason why elderly feel more in control of their minds and better able to deal with all kinds of mental illnesses.
Since lifting weights also reduces stress, it helps in managing any kind of depressive episode. This may happen because your body releases endorphins when involved in extraneous workouts.
8. Enhances Body Image
One of the best things about lifting weights is that you feel much better about yourself. If you have weight issues, you can combine waist training with strength training to boost your confidence.
The renewed self-esteem allows for a happier aura and even better health.
There exist no worries about body image and people become confident enough to face any kind of challenge in their lives.
What do you think about strength training now?
Remember, it is never too late to start. All you have to do is join a gym to learn the basics of resistance training and get started.
If you don’t have the time for a regular gym routine, you can start lifting weight right at home. All you need are a few weights and some time at hand.
There are plenty of beginner guides to strength training on the internet that you can easily use. Good luck!
Judy Robinson is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger. She loves to write on healthy lifestyle, fitness 101 and DIY related topics. Follow @judyrobinson for more updates.