- Exercise & Fitness
5 Benefits of Strength Training
Should You Strength Train
From body builders to pro athletes, chances are if you're in a profession that requires amazing feats, strength training is a part of your regiment. Strength training however isn't only for athletes; it has a plethora of benefits that everyone should take advantage of.
5. You'll love the way it makes you look
If you're looking to tighten up those sagging areas or build muscle, strength training is definitely the way to go. You can do all the cardio in the world, but without some form of strength training, you’ll never obtain the body of your dreams, and this goes both for men and women. It's the best way to build that chest, sculpt those abs and tone them legs the way you want .
4. It helps eliminate depression and elevates your mood
With the world as it is today, it's hard not to become depressed, especially if you watch the news. When we lift heavy weights our body releases endorphins. These are peptides that activate our body's opiate receptors which aids in stress relief. Although many of the exercises related to stress relief have been cardio based, there was a study conducted by The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 2004 that showed that in an 8 week period strength training had very similar results when it came to aiding depression.
3. Makes your bones stronger and reduces the chance of osteoporosis in old age
As we age everything on our body starts to weaken or breaks down completely, our bones are no exception to this rule. Just like our muscles, our bones also are comprised of living tissue. This means they adapt to fit our daily activity by becoming stronger. Weightlifting not only places strain on our muscles but our bones as well, causing them to grow. This growth is good in the prevention of osteoporosis. Women especially benefit from this as they are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis in old age due to the fact that they have naturally smaller bones than men.
2. Lowers the risk of becoming a diabetic and improves the living quality of those that suffer from the disease
Weightlifting is a great way to control blood sugar by helping to regulate your blood glucose. When we lift heavy weights, it encourages our white muscles to grow. White muscles require glucose for energy and the more we work them, the more glucose it uses, thus lowering our blood glucose level. According to a study done by the world health organization, there may be more than 350 million people worldwide that suffer from diabetes. They also predict that it may eventually rank in the top 10 leading causes of death. Studies have shown that people who strength train for about 30 minutes a day can greatly reduce their chance of becoming a victim to the disease. And for those that do have it, it is a great way to naturally lower your blood glucose levels.
1. Improve your immune system
Moderate endurance strength training is great when it comes to improving our immune system. It does this by... you guessed it! Building muscle! By building muscle it allows our body to store extra protein which it can pull from in its time of need, our body uses protein to create white blood cells along with anti-bodies, these are used to fight off infections and prevent illnesses.
Strength Training Tips For Beginners
Now that you know how beneficial strength training can be, you're probably eager get out and hit the gym...which is great! Strength training however isn't something you should just jump into. Before you hit the gym and start pumping iron, here are a few simple tips to help you get started.
A. Warm up
A 5 minute run before you lift will increase your core temperature and make you less likely to sustain injury. This should be done even before stretching as it is ill advised to stretch "Cold" muscles as this can also lead to injury.
B. Use Proper Form
Maintaining proper form as we lift is very important as it will help prevent injury. Lifting heavy weights can cause our bodies to become misaligned which can put strain on our joints and muscles. If you are unable to keep proper form while lifting, it probably means that you need to lessen the weight.
Whether it's between sets or taking a few days off, rest is essential for muscle recovery. During the rest period is when our muscles grow thus making it essential to ensure the effort given in the gym wasn't done in vain.
Strength training has many benefits and we should all consider taking advantage of them. Whether you simply just want to look good or be truly healthy, strength straining is definitely the way to go.