Does an image of a bodybuilder or someone with well-defined muscles come to mind when you hear the word strength training? Bodybuilders don’t have the same lifting goals as people who are focused solely on strength training. The goal of strength training is to improve the muscles in your body for proper joint function. Weak muscles can attribute to weak joints, falls, injuries, and an overall decline in your health.
Unless we are talking about bodybuilding, when I refer to strength training on Winning Fitness Goals, I’m talking about ways to improve your muscle strength. Whether you choose to add resistance to your workouts, lift light weights, or use bodyweight exercises to exercise routine, you will reap the strength training benefits below.
Most people don’t realize that adding strength training several times a week can improve your overall health. You don’t get the strength training benefits when you focus on cardio or exercise. You don’t even have to have an expensive gym membership or fancy equipment in order to start improving your muscle strength.
Improves Weight Loss Efforts
Most people start exercising because they want to lose weight, get in shape, live longer, or want to be able to enjoy the foods that they love to eat without worrying about weight gain. Strength training increases your body’s metabolic rate. As your metabolic rate increases, your body will begin burning more calories a day. The more calories you can burn or create a daily caloric deficit, the easier it is to lose weight.
Keep in mind that while losing weight that you need to increase your calorie deficit by 3500 calories per 1 pound that you want to lose in a week. Experts recommend that you focus on losing 1 to 2 pounds per week. Losing weight too quickly can make it difficult to keep the weight off long-term.
Enables You to Workout for Longer Periods of Time
Have you ever tried working out when you are out of shape? The first thing that you probably noticed was muscle fatigue and weakness. You may even notice that you are clumsy too. As you slowly increase your muscle strength, you will start to notice that your workouts are becoming easier and easier over time.
Don’t stop your strength training routine once your muscles are stronger. Keep up your routine and even add weights to your reputations if possible. When you maintain lean muscle mass, you will notice that you can work out for longer periods of time before muscle exhaustion sets in.
Increases Bone Density
Aging causes our bones to start deteriorating. The decrease in bone density makes our bones more prone to injury and increases the likely hood of having age-related diseases like osteoporosis.
Participating in a strength training regiment 3 to 5 times a week can slow the rate of deterioration or even reverse the aging process. I suggest that you get with a personal trainer or a physical therapist to help guide you as you start a strength training routine.
Keep Your Muscles Strong
The aging process also causes the muscles in your body to slowly weaken over time. This process can lead to a wide variety of ailments. Strong muscles provide support to your bones and joints and as the muscles weaken it can cause instability.
People who have injured themselves or live a sedentary lifestyle, are more likely to have significant health problems. If you have ever sustained an injury, chances are you were sent to physical therapy to help strengthen your muscles and improve your flexibility.
Maintain Proper Posture
Did you know that your core muscles are responsible for helping you maintain your good posture? When your core muscles are weak, your body tends to naturally slump over. As you work towards strengthening your core muscles, you will notice that your posture will begin to improve. Try looking for exercises that help strengthen your core muscles such as the plank exercise routine.
Are you currently working out or playing sports? Are you looking to improve your performance? Try adding strength training to your current routine to help improve your overall performance. You are able to perform better because you have leaner muscles, more strength, and energy to do more. Give it a try and see where you can go.
Don’t have time to go to the gym? Resistance bands are a great way to add resistance to your workout routine. Whether you are a newbie or an advanced athlete, you can use resistance bands to target and tone your muscles without putting additional pressure on your joints. Here are 11 resistance band exercises that you can use to get a full-body workout without stepping foot in a gym. I recommend these resistance bands (aff link) and used them to help gain strength training benefits while I was in physical therapy.
Make Completing Daily Tasks Easier
Did you know that regular strength training can help you with your day to day activities? As we age, it often becomes more difficult to do everyday activities such as cleaning the house, doing laundry, chasing the kids, etc. Keeping your bones and muscles in shape helps make it easier to keep up with the demands of life, especially if you have arthritis.
Don’t worry you do not have a gym membership or own expensive equipment in order to start seeing strength training benefits. There are plenty of bodyweight exercises that you can do at home. Try a few of these exercises: squats, push ups, sit ups, burpees, etc.
If you have been sedentary for a long time or have an injury, make sure that you talk to your doctor to determine what types of exercises that you should start out with. Once you start getting stronger and have built up some stamina, you should be able to start adding additional exercises and strength training to your routine.