Most people hear "strength training" and they immediately think about bodybuilding or the typical gym meat-head.
First off, let's stop that nonsense. Lots of people train to be stronger - athletes of all kinds, weekend warriors, your friend down the block. The objective doesn't just have to be improving at sport or getting HUGE! In fact, today I want to discuss how consistent strength/resistance training can simply make you a healthier, more resilient woman being.
Now, Nicole and I discuss this topic in a bit more detail (and more informally) on our recent podcast episode of The Elevated Life. Feel free to check out Episode 30 on iTunes, Spotify, or Google if you'd like.
Here are 10 ways that engaging in regular resistance training (2-3 times per week) can improve your health:
1) Working with weights is proven to improve and maintain bone density as we age. Avoid becoming brittle and being more susceptible to injury!
2) Strength training regulates blood pressure. We sometimes hear of people with high blood pressure avoiding exercise because of their condition. While you should always consult your physician, the research shows us that exercise (and specifically resistance training) can improve this condition. Exercise forces your heart to work harder. When you adapt to those demands, your heart no longer works so hard at rest. As such, your blood pressure will come down over time to a more normal level.
3) Increasing or maintaining your muscle mass keeps your metabolism in check. This affects MANY bodily functions, but one of those is becoming more effective at removing body fat. Strength training does this in a way that steady state cardio simply cannot --- because just "cardio" alone will not preserve muscle mass.
4) Mental health! This is often overlooked, but strength work is an excellent way to reduce mental stress and challenge yourself physically. As a result, you feel more accomplished and less stressed after a good workout.
5) Your ability to carry out every day tasks increases. We need a level of health and strength to perform mundane tasks, such as carrying heavy objects, picking things up off the ground, or even being able to move quickly to react to something happening suddenly. A basic level of strength and body awareness is needed for any of these occurrences.
6) Cholesterol! You or someone you know is likely to have been told you have high cholesterol. Strength training and exercise help in lowering triglycerides (these play a major role in heart health and cholesterol levels). The science tells us that the "good" cholesterol (HDL) can be increased through resistance training.
7) Balance your insulin sensitivity. Strength training and eating whole foods in the right amounts is a powerful combination in improving your metabolism. As you get leaner (removing body fat + keeping muscle mass), you will typically become more efficient at using carbohydrates as energy. If you are burning up carbs, then you are storing less for body fat. You are more likely to restore insulin sensitivity and be less susceptible to conditions like diabetes II.
8) Fortify your joints. Having stronger muscles and regularly putting your joints through wide ranges of motion will reduce aches and pains, as well as protecting your from injury in every day life. Simply put, moving your joints and making the muscles around them stronger will improve your overall vitality.
9) Become more familiar with your own body. The body awareness that is developed in doing compound strength movements, along with the stimulus of different muscles, helps you become intimately familiar with your body. You will have a better idea of what you are capable of doing, how you carry yourself, when to rest more, when to push it, etc. Knowing your own body is kind of important!
10) Getting stronger builds confidence in yourself. Add in looking better in the mirror and you have a great combo to feeling great about yourself. This causes a snowball effect, because feeling good and confident flows over into all aspects of your life!
If you are ready to Elevate your health and your life, give us a call ;)