It’s not always easy to find time (or the motivation) to work out, particularly when you have school, work, or other areas of your life demanding attention. However, making time to exercise two to four times a week will benefit your body in myriad ways.
While all exercise is beneficial, more and more evidence highlights the value of strength training — where you use a muscle or group of muscles to perform a certain action. Wondering how strength training can improve your life?
Read on to find out.
As you might guess, one of the benefits of proper strength training is improved strength. Besides helping your muscles grow larger, having more strength makes it easier to perform daily tasks. From carrying heavy objects to running around with your dog, activities aren’t as strenuous when your body has the strength to handle them.
Athletes in just about every sport also benefit from being stronger as it also improves their endurance, speed, and power.
Lower amounts of abdominal fat
If getting rid of excess abdominal fat is on your wish list, don’t just focus on cardio. Strength training is a fantastic way to reduce abdominal fat and body fat in general (1).
High levels of abdominal fat put you at risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Getting rid of some of it through strength training is, therefore, always a great idea.
Reduced risk of injury
One of the biggest benefits of strength training is that it helps reduce your chances of sustaining injuries. It increases the mobility of your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, strengthening areas like your ankles, hips, and knees and preventing them from getting hurt (2).
Research shows that strength training can also help take the pressure off certain muscles. For example, having a strong core reduces your risk of injuring your back while lifting or doing other strenuous activities (3).
Reduced risk of falls
Besides general injuries, strength training also helps reduce your risk of falling. Having the ability to support your body makes losing control and falling much less likely (4).
As falling is one of the main forms of injury for older adults, doing what you can to lower your chances is essential.
Improved mobility and flexibility
There’s a misconception that strength training reduces your mobility and flexibility. In reality, the opposite is true.
Strength training helps increase your range of motion, making it easier for your body to move in different ways without injuring itself. Likewise, having stronger muscles also helps to increase ROM and flexibility.
Better heart health
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. However, strength training allows you to improve your heart health, ensuring that it keeps working exactly as it should.
Studies show that strength training helps improve circulation, reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, and decrease blood pressure (5). That means a stronger heart and better long-term health for you!
Make time for strength training
Like other exercise types, strength training provides you with many fantastic benefits. Make time for it a few times a week to look and feel your best.
If lifting weights doesn’t get you feeling pumped, don’t be afraid to look into another activity that can help you grow stronger!