If you’re still intimidated by the weight floor or think strength training is only for bodybuilders and meat heads, I’ve got news for you: Strength training is for everyone! Whether you’re a cardio king or a devoted yogi, there’s a place for strength training in everyone’s routine.
Not only will it help you achieve the body of your dreams, but it’s also essential for aging gracefully and building a body that functions well.
6 Reasons to Love Strength Training
- Strength training preserves muscle mass during weight loss.
According to a University of Michigan research study, at least 25 to 30 percent of weight lost by dieting alone is not fat, but lean tissue, muscle, bone and water. However, strength training helps dieters preserve muscle mass while still losing weight.
- Strength training elevates the metabolism.
Starting in their 20s, most people (especially women) lose half kilo of muscle every year if they aren’t strength training to preserve it. After age 60, this rate of loss doubles. Regular strength training can preserve muscle throughout the lifespan and rebuild the lost muscle.
- Strength training helps you lose weight more easily (or eat more without gaining weight).
Since muscle is active tissue, it requires energy to maintain. The more muscle you have, the more you can eat without gaining weight. Strength training can provide up to a 15 percent increase in metabolic rate, which is helpful for weight loss and long-term weight control.
- Strength training increases bone density.
strength training increases both muscle mass and bone density. A research showed that women who lifted weights did not lose any bone density throughout the study, and actually gained an average of 1 percent more bone mass in the hip and spine. Non-exercising women lost 2 to2.5 percent of bone mass during the same period of time.
- Strength training counteracts depression.
A Harvard study showed that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling alone.
- Strength training improves your quality of life.
Building muscle allows you to get more out of life. Everyday activities, such as lifting children (or grandchildren), carrying groceries, and working in the yard are much easier when you’re not struggling with the effort. Being in shape also makes you more confident, helps you stand taller and makes you feel great about yourself. And what’s better than that?