Besides developing muscle strength, stamina, and helping you recover from injury, there are other benefits associated with strength training. There are even studies that show that resistance training can help prevent some medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer. It also has an effect on your state of mind which can allow you to feel better about yourself and even sleep better at night.
The resistance involved in strength training helps build anaerobic endurance and makes the muscles in your body work harder during your workout. Depending on what you do, you can work individual muscle groups or do strength training exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time.
The benefits of strength training are so widespread that even reputable medical centres like the Mayo Clinic promote strength training for people of all ages.
Health, Strength & Flexibility
The increase in your muscles strength and the size of your muscles is an obvious benefit of strength training. As you progress in the training you'll find that lifting and carrying things will be easier and even walking can be less strenuous. This endurance and strength can help your overall health.
You may notice an increase in your good cholesterol as well as a decrease in your bad cholesterol thanks to strength training. It can also lower your risk for cardiovascular problems and help regulate your blood pressure and blood sugar. There may also be a noticeable difference in your stress and anxiety levels. Strength training is also linked to a reduction in high oestrogen levels which is associated with the occurrence of breast cancer.
Strength training can also help with your flexibility and range of motion. This will allow you to do more without risking injuries like pulled muscles or general pain.
Body Composition, Muscle Tone & Posture
Strength training may focus on muscle building but it can also help reduce body fat by boosting your metabolism. This is usually something that can't be measured since you'll gain muscle while losing fat. For that reason you may not see the results when you step on a scale. You should, however, notice a change in your body measurements. There will also be a change in your appearance as your muscles take on more definition.
As your muscles become stronger, you'll also see a positive change in your posture. The increase in your muscle strength will allow your body to better hold itself up through the neck, back, shoulders, hips, and abdomen. This improved posture will lead to better stability and balance when standing or sitting.
Reducing the Risk of Injury
Injuries are a part of everyday life, especially when related to exercising. For example, you can pull a muscle or twist an ankle when doing an activity. If your muscles are strong due to regular strength training, you will be less likely to suffer from an injury. The tendons and ligaments in your body will also be strengthened through strength training and will be less likely to incur injuries.
If you do get injured during exercise or any other activity, the strength training that you've done can help you recover from the injury faster and better since your body has better endurance.
Examples of Strength Training Equipment
If you're looking to begin strength training, you'll need the right strength equipment. Weights are important, but there are several different pieces of equipment available on the market to help you.
Free weights, also known as dumbbells, hand weights, or barbells, are weights that are free standing instead of incorporated into a weight machine. They don't restrict your movement and can be used for different muscle groups. You can get free weights in different sizes or you can get a set of weights that are adjustable.
If buying free weights, you may also want to invest in a weight bench. This will allow you to do a wide range of exercises with your weights. You can find flat benches as well as ones with an incline. There are also benches with racks to store your weights properly.
There are also cable machines and multi-gym machines that you can invest in if you're looking for a big ticket item for your home. These can work different muscle groups but can limit your range of motion since these machines are usually only meant to work in certain ways.