If you’ve never thought about adding strength training to your fitness regimen before, these 6 benefits might make you change your mind. No matter what age you are, male or female, we recommend strength training along with cardio exercises to help get you the best results from your weekly workouts.
Unlike cardiovascular training, weight training allows you to burn calories even after you’ve finished your workout. Many studies show that the metabolism can stay elevated up to 39 hours post-workout. Additionally, it has been discovered that each pound of muscle burns 6 calories at rest, as compared to only 2 calories at rest burned by each pound of fat. Therefore, as you continue to strength train regularly and begin gaining muscle mass, your caloric burn at rest will also increase, thus fueling your weight loss goals even more!
As our bodies age, our bone density levels begin to decrease, making us more susceptible to osteoporosis, arthritis, posture problems, or even just injuries through everyday activities. However, weight bearing exercises can counter these aging effects by helping to increase our bone density – making our bodies stronger and more resilient.
As you increase the strength that your body has, particularly in terms of core strength, your sense of balance and stability will improve greatly. This will not only allow you to expand the variety of exercises you can perform in a gym setting, but it will also allows you to move more efficiently and safely in everyday activities that require these skills, therefore making you less likely to get injured.
The lungs are greatly benefited by strength training, as this activity helps us improve our lung capacity and the efficiency of which we take in and expel air. Let’s not forget the most important muscle in the body beyond the ones we train in the gym – our heart! As the muscles in our arms, legs, and abdomen get stronger with strength training, so does our heart. As you get more fit through strength training, your resting heart rate will begin to decrease to a much slower rate. This is a direct reflection of the heart beginning to pump blood more efficiently by conserving its energy since it does not need to work as hard to maintain a fit individual’s body functions. The other benefit to a healthier, more efficient heart is decreased blood pressure. This means that opting to strength train is especially beneficial for people who suffer from hypertension, or who are simply prone to high blood pressure, or who have a family history of high blood pressure and are more at risk.
Well, ok, maybe not entirely. But strength training is absolutely vital at any age to keep us as young in both body and mind as possible. For instance, individuals in their teens, 20’s, and even early 30’s can use strength training as an early defense against the onset of various physical conditions, such as: arthritis, osteoporosis and heart disease. They also can use strength training at an early age to supercharge their metabolism to keep their body in the state of maintaining fitness as they age. For individuals in their late 30’s and early to mid 40’s, strength training serves as a preventative measure against loss of muscle mass and bone density.
In fact, it is said that the average person will lose about 1/3 of a pound of muscle per year after age 30, and will gain the equivalent amount in fat.
Therefore, at this age people can keep their bodies younger longer by incorporating strength training, which will reduce the transfer of muscle to fat. Finally, after the age of 50, strength training can help you turn back the clock by giving you better posture, making you more limber, more agile, and look leaner. Strength training at any age helps to protect against injury, but at an older age strength training becomes more critical to keep an individual safe in their everyday activities. This allows them to stay independent longer and enjoy a more active lifestyle until a much later age than an inactive individual would.
This is perhaps the most important reason of all to consider adding strength training to your routine. When we have muscular strength and endurance, our bodies become stronger, leaner, and healthier; our movements become more efficient, and our posture/body awareness improve vastly. With all of this, it becomes much easier to perform basic everyday movements like: getting in and out of our cars, climbing stairs, carrying heavy groceries, lifting objects overhead, and turning around without sustaining injury! Simply stated, strength training regularly can result in a much longer, more active and enjoyable life.