Regular exercise helps reduce weight and minimize the risk of developing certain disease. Staying active strengthens the muscles and joints and keeps the tendons and ligaments flexible, allowing you to move more easily and avoid injury. Strong muscles and ligaments reduce your risk of joint and back pain by keeping the joints in proper alignment. They also improve coordination and balance. The more muscle you develop, the higher your metabolic rate becomes, so you burn more calories even when you’re not exercising. Strength training is a training program that builds muscle and supports weight control. Here are the key advantages of strength training:
- Improves strength and promotes good health: Having good muscle strength is important to perform daily activities easily, especially when you get older and start losing muscle. Strength training makes you stronger because it involves strengthening and toning the muscles by contracting them against a resisting force. There are two types of resistance training
(i) isometrics resistance that involves contraction of the muscle against non moving object
(ii) isotonic strength training in which the muscles maintain equal tone or tension while a movement is performed
- Protects bone health and muscle mass: By the time you turn 30, you begin to lose 3 to 4 percent of lean muscle mass per year. As per a study published in 2017 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 30 minutes of intense training once in two weeks can improve functional performance, bone density, structure, and strength in postmenopausal women with low bone mass. For everyone, muscle-strengthening activities help preserve or increase muscle mass, strength, and power, which are essential for bone, joint, and muscle health as we age.
- Better body mechanics: Strength training helps with balance, coordination and posture. According to a study, older people fall frequently due to worse physical functioning. Strength training helps strengthen muscles and reduces risk of falling.
- Prevents weight gain: Exercises such as aerobics, yoga, running, walking, etc., help burn a lot of calories and support your weight loss efforts, and also improve metabolism. According to a study published in the Journal Obesity in November 2017, dieters who did strength training exercises four times a week for 18 months lost the most fat compared to dieters who didn’t exercise and those who did only aerobic exercise.
- Burns more calories: Your body burns calories not only during strength training but also after strength training, which called excess post exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC. When you do strength, weight, or resistance training, your body needs more energy based on how much energy you’re exerting. This means that more calories burned during the work out as well as post work out.
- Improves energy level and mood: Strength training boosts energy levels and improves mood because it increases the level of endorphins in the body. Researchers found that such workouts have a positive effect on the brain and also improve quality of sleep.
- Helps manage chronic diseases: Studies have shown that strength training helps manage some chronic diseases. If you have arthritis, strength training can be as effective as medication in decreasing arthritis pain. It also helps to control glucose in people who have Type 2 diabetes.
If you are planning to start strength or resistance training, you don’t have go to the gym or buy expensive weights. You can do chair squats, push-ups, planks, or other movements at home. These exercises require you to use your own body weight as resistance and can be very effective You can even get an expert to chart out a strength training program that works for you. Make sure that you start slow and use the correct weight for optimal results. Increasing the number of sets or reps or time between sets, choosing different exercises, and varying your speed can make your workout session more interesting and fun.