Strength training uses resistance to build muscle and increase bone strength amongst other things, and it’s recommended by the American Heart Association that everyone strength trains at least twice per week.
While the idea of strength training is appealing to many people, it can also be quite intimidating at first.
- “I don’t know what to do.”
- “I’m scared to lift weights with so many people watching me.”
- “I don’t want to get too bulky.”
These are all concerns often voiced and while the most important aspect of exercise is that you choose a form that you enjoy and keeps you healthy, I’ll try my best to convince you why you should start weight lifting in 2020.
You’re probably wondering why! Well, below are five reasons everyone should be strength training!
1. Increase muscle mass and bone strength
According to this study, after the age of 30, we begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% of muscle mass per decade. Furthermore, according to the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research those with low muscle mass have 3 times the risk of a fracture from a fall.
As we age it becomes increasingly important to strength train in order to increase bone density and strength, build stronger muscles, and develop better coordination and balance.
2. Fight Disease and improved health
A study published in 2019 examined the benefit of strength training in preventing and treating chronic diseases such as mobility disorder, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
This study found that “the evidence presented in this review demonstrates the beneficial effects of RET (resistance exercise training” on reducing chronic disease risk (mobility disability, T2D, CVD, and cancer) in older adults. Regular performance of RET improves muscle mass, strength, and function, and can have direct effects on the primary prevention of a number of chronic diseases. On the basis of the evidence we have highlighted, RET-induced benefits in chronic disease risk are equivalent if not superior in magnitude as AET (aerobic exercise training).
3. Weight Loss
When trying to lose weight, many people go straight for the cardio machines thinking that’s their best shot at getting the scale to move. While cardio is a piece of the puzzle, strength training is far superior in terms of both fat loss and body composition.
A study published in the journal Obesity in November 2017 found that, compared with dieters who didn’t exercise and those who did only aerobic exercise, dieters who did strength training exercises four times a week for 18 months lost the most fat (about 18 pounds, compared with 10 pounds for non-exercisers and 16 pounds for aerobic exercisers).
And while you may not be dripping in sweat like you would if you did 100 burpees or ran for miles at a time, ultimately, in the end, your body composition is what you’re truly chasing and that is achieved by progressive weight lifting.
4. Perform everyday activities
This should be the main reason the majority of the population is strength training. While fat loss and body composition may not be nearly as important to you as it is to someone else, I believe we all share one common goal in life and that’s to be able to enjoy it!
Taking up a strength routine will give you the strength you need to be able to do the things you love! To play with your children, to go outside and walk, hike, or ride a bike. Not to mention the everyday activities many of us take for granted, such as cleaning, bending over, getting out of bed.
Eventually, as we age our bodies begin to break down on us if we don’t take care of it. This leads me to my next point if you continually neglect your body, it eventually will begin to talk to you with the nagging injuries that will seamlessly pop up one after the other.
5. Prevent Injury
In a 2013 study, researchers in Copenhagen looked at 26,610 people who engaged in strength training, stretching, balance exercises, or programs that combined more than one exercise type. The results showed that general physical exercise lowered injuries by 37 percent; stretching reduced injuries by only 4 percent, and strength training lowered risk by 68 percent!!
As you can see, there’s a clear cut winner and that’s strength training.
Whether it’s the increased muscle mass, increased bone density, strong ligaments, and tendons increased confidence and better body composition, or simply enjoying a healthy and pain-free life, now is the time to reap all these benefits and push your fears and doubts aside.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding current or past injuries or how to start your strength training regiment, reach out to our team of professionals at 410-656-2121.