Benefits of Strength Training

by Jodee on January 3, 2011

Heart-healthy exercise and eating well are two pillars to good health. Getting your heart rate up and keeping it there for several minutes will help to strengthen this all-important muscle and make it work more efficiently. Your stamina will increase and you will find it easier to fight viral infections, such as colds or the flu.

Engaging in aerobic exercise also causes your body to release endorphins, which give your mood a boost. Doing so will also help you to live longer, so do make sure that you are walking, running, swimming, cycling or doing a similar activity regularly.

Aerobics are good for your health and fitness, but you also need to add a strength training routine (Pilates is a good example) to your exercise plans to help you build lean muscles and burn body fat. Losing muscle mass is a natural part of the aging process – unless you are performing strength training activities. Omitting this step from your fitness plan means that the amount of body fat you are carrying will increase over time. Carrying it around puts a strain on your heart and is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Other Ways Strength Training Helps You

  • When you add strength training to your fitness routine, you are putting stress on your bones. This is an excellent strategy for strengthening them, since it helps to increase bone density and lower the risk of osteoporosis.
  • If your goal is to keep your weight down, strength training can definitely help you do to so. As your muscle mass increases, your body is able to burn calories in a more efficient manner.
  • Building muscle also helps you to protect your joints, which lowers your risk of injury. It also helps with your ability to balance, which may mean being able to remain independent longer as you age.
  • Your stamina will increase as you continue with your strength training routine. Being able to combat fatigue will make the activities that pack your already-full schedule much less daunting.
  • You may also find it easier to focus if you engage in strength training. The results of some studies have suggested that older adults who do this type of activity have an increased attention span.
  • If you are living with a chronic condition, you may be able to get symptom relief by performing strength training. People with back pain, arthritis and osteoporosis can benefit from doing so. Exercise can be used as part of an overall treatment plan to deal with depression as well.

Before you start a strength training routine, check with your doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough to exercise. You will also want to ask about any restrictions that you need to keep in mind when you are doing so.

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