The Benefits of Strength Training
Strength training not only increases your strength. It also provides several other benefits to your overall health and wellness. It is a vital part of any fitness routine. Weight lifting, resistance bands, yard work, using the stairs, bike riding, and dancing are all great ways to incorporate strength exercises into your life. No matter what exercises you choose to do, here's why strength training is so important:
Increased Muscle Mass
Strength training for hypertrophy, or muscle growth, consists of using higher repetitions to stimulate an increase in muscle endurance and muscle volume. Muscles get torn during exercise and repair themselves by building more muscle during the recovery process. Building muscle mass benefits both your body and mind. Muscle builds strength and stamina as well as storing carbohydrates to help reduce blood sugar. It also helps you mentally by boosting your self-confidence and improving your mood.
When you do strength training exercises, it puts stress upon your bones as your muscles contract and release repeatedly. Your bones respond by releasing bone-forming cells to strengthen them from stress, creating stronger bones.
The muscle fibers and the tendons around your joints get stretched and stressed during strength training. This process causes the fibers to lengthen, allowing your muscles and joints to stretch farther, improving joint flexibility.
Aerobic exercise–depending on the form–can be the best way to burn calories during exercise. However, strength and resistance training are the best ways to burn fat and increase lean muscle mass. This is because lean muscle burns more calories when you are at rest, making it easier to maintain or reach your ideal body weight.
Balance is all about the mechanics of your body, including muscle strength and flexibility. When your muscles are strong, and your joints are more flexible, you are better able to maintain and improve your balance. Single leg movements are a great way to build strength while improving your coordination.
Strength training burns calories during exercise AND during rest. This is because muscle burns more calories at rest than other tissues in your body. The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolism. If you're struggling with losing weight and have been focused solely on cardio, try adding weights into your routine and watch how much your body changes!
Through research, it has been found that strength training can be better than flexibility training to prevent injuries. Most injuries and falls are due to a lack of strength and control around a joint, not lack of flexibility.
Finding the right strength training program can be confusing. Using proper form, breathing, appropriate resting times, the correct amount of weight, and selecting the right exercises for your goals are crucial in the success of your strength-training program. A professional certified personal trainer–like myself–can teach you the best ways to add strength training exercises to your routine in ways that fit with your personal fitness goals. Working with a trainer is a great way to get started on your fitness journey and it is also very helpful for those looking for extra motivation and accountability! Everyone can benefit from working with a trainer no matter what stage they are at.
If you're looking to incorporate more strength training into your routine and could use a little help, let's talk! Sign up for a free 30-minute health and fitness consultation so we can determine the best ways to achieve your goals. I currently offer both virtual and in-person personal training, holistic health coaching programs, and weekly group bootcamps via Zoom.