Strength Training - 14 Proven Benefits

Strength training is not just about lifting weights in the gym. You can just as well train with your body weight, resistance rubbers, free weights or even household items.

Strength training is essential for maintaining good health. They not only reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes or strengthen bones, but also promote brain health, mood and self-confidence.

 

How are strength training different from aerobic training?

The biggest difference between these types of workouts is how they affect your body. Strength training, such as weightlifting, TRX, strength yoga or strength training, builds muscle and helps them function properly.

Aerobic training, such as running, walking or swimming, improves the functioning of your cardiovascular and respiratory systems. As a result, your heart gets stronger and your body makes better use of oxygen. You become more resilient - you no longer suffer from shortness of breath when you run and you can run, walk, swim longer and faster.

Both of these types of workouts contribute to your overall health in just different ways.

 

14 proven benefits of strength training

1 You become stronger

Strength training helps you become physically stronger and improve athletic performance in sports that require speed, power and strength. These qualities are important not only in sports, but also in everyday life.

 

2 Accelerates metabolism and efficiently burns calories

Strength training helps improve metabolism in two ways:

Strength training can help you get rid of fat - simply by burning more calories and also helping to prevent injuries that can occur during aerobic exercise, for example.

 

3 Decreases the amount of fat on your stomach

Several studies have shown that strength training is one of the most effective in reducing total body fat and losing total fat. the layer of fat on the abdomen also decreases.

Fat that accumulates around the abdomen, especially visceral fat are associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer risk.

 

4 You become slimmer

By gaining muscle mass and losing fat, you become slimmer - even if your weight stays the same, because muscles are denser than fat and this means they take up less space. Also read: How does weight loss actually work?

 

5 Improves balance - reduces the risk of falling (bone fractures)

Strength training reduces the risk of falls and, consequently, bone fractures, as increasing the strength of your leg muscles also improves your gait and balance.

In a study of 23,407 adults, over 60 years of age, it was found that participants who exercised regularly (balance, resistance and functional training) lost 34% less than those who did not.

 

6 Reduces the risk of injury

Strength training helps to improve the strength, range of motion and mobility of muscles, ligaments and tendons, which in turn provides additional protection against joint injuries such as knee, hip and ankle injuries.

Or, for example, stronger raised tendon, leg and buttock muscles reduce the load on the lower back during lifting, thus reducing the risk of lower back injuries.

Strength training promotes the harmonious development of the body, for example - training the leg muscles also strengthens the back and abdominal muscles, or training the back also involves the arm muscles.

In a study involving 7,738 athletes, it was found that strength training programs reduced the risk of injury by 33%. Respectively, the risk of injuries is related to the amount of strength training, and as the amount of strength training increased by 10%, the risk of injury decreased by 4%.

 

7 Heart health improves

Several studies have shown that regular strength training can lower blood pressure, lower total and LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins) and improve blood circulation by strengthening the heart and blood vessels.

 

8 Helps control the level of sugar in your blood

Strength training can also help you maintain a healthy weight and control your blood sugar. High blood sugar is a major risk factor for heart disease.

Strength training can reduce the risk of developing diabetes and help people with the disease cope better with it.

Developed skeletal muscle helps increase insulin sensitivity and lowers blood sugar by removing glucose from the blood and sending it to muscle cells. As a result, more muscle mass can help lower blood sugar.

Strength training can also reduce the risk of developing diabetes. For example, a study involving 35,754 women, showed that those who did regular strength training had a 30% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

 

9 Promotes greater mobility and flexibility

Contrary to popular belief, strength training can promote flexibility in the body.

Strength training increases the range of motion (ROM), providing greater mobility and flexibility. In addition, those with weaker muscles usually have less range and flexibility in joint movements.

Recently done A study comparing stretching with strength training found that they increased the range of joint movements equally effectively..

 

10 Increases your self-confidence

Strength training can greatly improve your self-confidence.

Strength training develops willpower and discipline, which in turn helps you to overcome a variety of challenges, set and achieve goals. As a result, you gain the confidence that you can succeed - your self-confidence improves and you succeed.

In several studies For young people aged 10 to 16, a significant association was found between strength training and high self-esteem, physical strength and physical self-esteem.

Other systematic review, who studied 754 adults, showed a significant link between strength training and positive self-image, including satisfaction with their body and appearance.

 

11 Your bones are getting stronger

Strength training is very important for bone development.

Weight lifting exercises put temporary stress on the bones, activating the cells that make up the bones. Strong bones reduce the risk of osteoporosis, fractures and falls, especially in the elderly.

As you age, your bones become weaker (osteoporosis). Strength training can help prevent this or even improve bone strength. The hips, spine and wrists are the areas most likely to be affected by osteoporosis, and it is these parts of the body that can best be strengthened with strength training. And it is possible at any age.

 

12 Improves mood

Regular strength training promotes endorphins, (also called happiness hormones), which can improve both mood and mental health in general.

Several studies have shown that strength training can reduce the symptoms of depression (such as anxiety) and improve mood.

 

13 Improves brain health

Strength training can improve brain health - including for the elderly.

Several studies with older adults after regular strength training have shown significant improvements in cognitive function (eg, information processing speed, memory).

It is believed that strength training is a lot neuroprotective effectsuch as improved blood flow, reduced risk of inflammation and increased neurotrophic factor (BDNF - Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor), an expression associated with memory and learning.

 

14 Improves your quality of life

Strength training can improve your quality of life, especially as you get older.

In many studies, strength training has been linked to better health and overall quality of lifedefined as perceived physical and mental well - being.

Review of 16 studies, which included adults 50 years of age and older, showed a significant correlation between resistance / strength training and better mental health, physical activity, pain relief, overall health, and vitality.

Strength training can also improve the quality of life for arthritis patients - review of 32 studies showed that strength training for people with arthritis significantly improved pain and physical activity.

Deep muscles training can significantly reduce, for example, back pain.

 

How to get the most out of strength training

Start with the basics

If you are a beginner, first learn how to perform the exercises correctly. Proper technique is very important - if you do the exercises incorrectly the expected results will not be and thus you may even harm your health.

If you are not sure how to perform an exercise or use any equipment properly, consult a physiotherapist or personal trainer. It is a good practice to start strength training with a personal trainer - at least the first few workouts until you learn to do all the exercises correctly.

Read HERE about the peculiarities of women's training.

 

Choose the right training frequency and load

  • Set goals such as increasing muscle mass, creating relief, reducing fat mass, or increasing muscle endurance.
  • Choose exercises according to the set goal.
  • Choose weights that allow you to do the exercise 8 -15 times with 1 - 3 repetitions (sets).
  • If you have difficulty exercising at least eight times or you are not able to exercise all the time, the weight you choose may be too heavy and vice versa - if you can do the exercise 15 or more times without much effort, you should increase your weight.
  • To gain strength and build muscle, you need to increase their load regularly. To increase muscle mass, it is recommended to increase the work weight or the number of repetitions from 5% to 10% every week. Without this gradual overload, muscle growth will not occur.
 

Don't overdo it

Although muscle pain a day or two after strength training is normal, it should not interfere with your daily activities.

It is widely believed that if the muscles do not hurt after training, there will be no results (increase in muscle mass and / or strength). This is not true muscle pain has no direct link to increased muscle mass and strength.

Try to finish the exercise (set) when you feel that you will not be able to do it again. This will reduce the chance of muscle pain while giving enough muscle strain.

Finally, give yourself enough time to rest and allow your muscles to recover and grow. 2-3 strength training sessions a week is enough - more frequent training will not speed up your progress.

 

Sources:

The Importance of Muscular Strength: Training Considerations

A Systematic Review of the Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Non-Specific Chronic Low Back Pain

Resistance Exercise Training as a Primary Countermeasure to Age-Related Chronic Disease

Physical Activity / Exercise and Diabetes: A Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association

Effects of Resistance Exercise on Bone Health

Resistance exercise training for anxiety and worry symptoms among young adults: a randomized controlled trial

Aerobics and Resistance Training Improves Mood State among Adults Living with HIV

Association of Efficacy of Resistance Exercise Training With Depressive Symptoms

The Effects of Resistance Exercise Training on Anxiety

Effects of Resistance Exercise Training on Cognitive Function and Physical Performance in Cognitive Frailty

The effects of strength training on cognitive performance in elderly women

Mediation of Cognitive Function Improvements by Strength Gains After Resistance Training in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment

Aerobic versus resistance training effects on the health-related quality of life, body composition, and function of older adults

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