A lot of people are convinced that strength training is something that is meant for bodybuilders only, or those who want to look very muscular. The truth, however, couldn’t be any further from that. Strength training is a very beneficial activity for everyone, regardless of age, gender or body type. It helps build strength, balance, and has many other benefits that you might not be aware of. Below, you will find few reasons of why you should be doing strength training and how it can help you improve your overall health.
Why You Should Start Strength Training
Helps You With Weight Management
While most people believe that to lose weight you need to spend hours upon hours a week doing cardio, strength training plays a huge role in weight management. A person gains weight by consuming more calories than they burn, and they lose weight by consuming less calories than they burn.
The average person burns somewhere around 400 calories during an hour of intense cardio exercise. This is about the same number of calories that can be found in a Mars candy bar, which shows how difficult it is to burn off calories only with exercise. Although the average person will burn less calories (~300) during an hour of strength training, they will add the benefit of building muscle that has a lot of great benefits. Research has been show that 10 pounds of muscle burns approximately 50 calories in a day during the rest period, while 10 pounds of fat burns only 20 calories. When you look at the 7 day span, that’s extra 210 calories in a week burned.
Improves Your Ability To Do Everyday Activities
There are many situations in life where being stronger can be an advantage and can make a life little bit easier. Carrying your shopping bags back from the supermarket, hoisting your luggage into the overhead compartment, moving furniture, all these activities are easier when you are stronger. Being able to detect the improvements of your exercise routine are one of the most enjoyable parts of fitness, and strength training provides a lot of these moments.
One of the main reasons we workout is to look better. Strength training will give you better aesthetic results than cardio alone. Now obviously, not everyone wants to look like they’re competing in Mr. Universe, but there is no doubt that increasing muscle and reducing fat will make you look better.
A lot of women (and some men) believe that strength training will make them look “bulky”. This will not happen unless you make it your goal. Putting on large amounts of muscle is immensely difficult and requires incredible commitment to both diet and training. For women– who produce much less testosterone than men– it’s even harder. You will not end up accidentally looking like a bodybuilder. Instead you will look lean, toned and defined.
As well as the aesthetic benefits of having a good posture, making you look taller, thinner and more confident. It also decreases back pain and shoulder discomfort, it reduces the risk of spinal injury, and it reduces the occurrence of tension headaches.
Another positive side effect of strength training is an increase in the size and density of your bones. This helps to offset the natural loss of bone density that aging causes, which in turn can cause bone brittleness and osteoporosis. This also means that you are less likely to break your bones as you grow older.
Increases the Strength of Connective Tissue and Tendons
As well as the increase in strength to your muscles and bones, your tendons and connective tissues will also become stronger. Tendons are fibrous bands of connective tissue that connect muscle with bone and serve to move the bone when the muscle contracts. With a strength training program your tendons will adapt to the strength of weight placed on them and get stronger. This reduces your risk of injury.
Improved Mental Health
Strength training also has the ability to improve our mental health, as well as your physical health. Researched done at Harvard University showed that ten weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than counselling did. There are a number of reasons for this.One is that when we exercise we release chemicals called endorphins, which improve our overall well being. Other benefits include: improved self-satisfaction for working hard and becoming stronger, higher self-confidence, and improved overall well being.
Strength Training Provides Valuable Life Lessons
The process of gaining strength is long and difficult, and the pain and dedication that is needed to work out regularly teaches us valuable life lessons such as discipline and resilience. The nature of strength training provides visual tracking for the progress because you can see how putting in more work produces small improvements in your body and life. You learn how to overcome setbacks and push yourself in order to achieve your goals. You will also increase your threshold of dealing with the pain that is often a part of achieving goals and becoming better at something.
How To Get Started?
Just like with everything in life, consistency is the key in order to ensure good results. Start out small and focus on exercises that work as many muscles in your body as possible. Use your own body weight to start- pushups, pullups, squats, etc.. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own, take advantage of personal trainer. He or she will be able to teach you how to properly perform each of exercise and which ones you should focus on in order to achieve your fitness goal.
At the end oft he day, strength training can be done in as little time as fifteen minutes a day. There are really no excuses as to why you shouldn’t take advantage of the benefits that strength training has to offer. If you feel intimated by going to the gym and starting out, don’t be. Remember that improving your life is the best thing that you can do and your body will thank you for it.