Strength training is a type of exercise that employs resistance to build and condition the musculoskeletal system, enhancing endurance and muscle tone and endurance. It is a term that is used generally that is similar to other common terms of resistance training and weightlifting.
Physiologically, the benefits of consistent strength training include:
– an increase in muscle tone and size
– increased muscular strength
– and increases in ligament, bone, and tendon strength.
Weight lifting has also been shown to help improve one’s psychological health as well, by increasing self-worth, confidence, and self-esteem. Below are the 3 benefits of strength training:
1. Improved Performance and Physical Appearance
One noteworthy result of strength training is increased physical performance. Muscles quite literally use energy to produce movement, operating as the body’s main engine. Strength training helps expand the muscles’ endurance, strength, and size, which contribute to improvements in our daily activities: hobbies, sports, even work.
Another good result of a solid strength-training program is its effect on one’s overall body composition and appearance which can directly influence confidence, self-worth, and self-esteem.
Both our physical performance and appearance can be positively influenced by muscle gain or hampered by muscle loss. Research shows that we lose about one-half pound of muscle every year of our lives well past thirty — unless we incorporate resistance and strength training in our lives. Muscles, when not properly used, gradually decrease in size and strength in the process and is called atrophy.
Weight lifting is truly important for preventing muscle loss that is usually part of the aging process.
A common misconception is that as we reach the age fifty, being physically inactive is deemed normal, and that is our cue to start using ambulatory aides like wheelchairs and canes. Many people think we have no choice; they think this is normal.
There is absolutely no reason why all of us can’t be sexually, socially, mentally and physically active, living a healthy, full vibrant life ahead. Many elderly people simply stop being physically active, despite their overall excellent health. Weight gain, laziness, and the need for peace and quiet instead have taken over their lives.
2. Increased Efficiency in Metabolism/Burning Excess Calories
That 1 and 1/2 pound of muscle loss annually after age thirty gives about a 1/2 percent decrease in basal metabolic rate (BMR) each year.
A decrease in BMR simply means that our bodies are less able to use the food we consume as energy, so more gets stored as body fat. Basal metabolic rate means the energy consumed by our body at rest to help keep normal body functions.
Our muscles have high-energy requirements. Even when we are asleep, our muscles use more than twenty percent of our calories or energy. When you follow the concept of effective strength training and are consistent in your training program — an increase in BMR and lean muscle mass throughout your body will be achieved. Needless to say, you can in fact condition your metabolism to perform better and more efficiently even when you are at rest.
However, one of the common mistakes people make when commencing a weight management program is not including a resistance/strength training routine with their low-fat eating regimen and cardiovascular exercise. This is unfortunate because when we try to decrease calories without exercise, we can lose muscle as well as fat.
3. Lowers Risk of Sustaining an Injury
Our muscles also work as shock absorbers and serve as important balancing pillars throughout our bodies. Well-conditioned muscles help to decrease the ongoing landing forces in weight-bearing activities such as playing basket, volleyball, and even jogging.
Muscles that are well-balanced lower the risk of injuries that may happen when a muscle is weaker than its opposing muscle group.