Sunday, April 22, 2012

Why You Should Be Strength Training

Many people think of strength training as a guy thing, but strength training needs to be for everyone. If you are omitting strength training, you are missing a key component of health and fitness. Everyone, no matter how young or old, should be doing some sort of regular strength training program. There are many benefits that come with a regular strength training program.

"Use it or lose it."
As you age, muscle mass naturally decreases. "If you don't do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you'll increase the percentage of fat in your body," says Edward Laskowski, M.D. "Strength training can help you preserve and enhance you muscle mass, at any age." You lose about 5-7 pounds of muscle every decade after age 20. Strength training can help prevent this loss or rebuild what you have already lost.

Weight control.
Muscle helps burn calories which can result in weight loss. The more muscle mass that you have, the more calories you will burn. It works out that every pound of muscle that you gain you will burn an extra 35-50 calories a day. This boost in metabolism is essential for long term weight loss.

Strengthen bones.
Strength training stresses your bones which increases bone density and reduces your risk of osteoporosis. This is especially important for women.

Reduce injury risk.
Muscle protects joints from injury.

Reduce blood pressure.
Strength training strengthens your heart and allows it to beat more efficiently.

Increase stamina.
You won't fatigue as easily as you get stronger.

Manage chronic conditions.
Strength training can reduce signs and symptoms of many conditions including; arthritis, diabetes, back pain, depression, osteoporosis and obesity.

Women's weight training myth.
Weight training for women will not make them bulky/masculine looking. Women do not and cannot naturally produce as much testosterone as men can. Testosterone is what is responsible for producing bulky/masculine looking muscles. It is impossible for women to get huge amounts of muscle mass from weight listing

The basics.
You don't need to head to the gym to do a strength training workout. Body weight exercises such as push-ups and lunges are effective and can be done anywhere. Resistance bands and dumbbells are another great option and are easy to store.

Don't forget a 5-10 minute warm-up prior to strength training. You will want to choose a weight or resistance level that will tire your muscles after about 12 repetitions. Remember, over time you will need to gradually increase your resistance.

Do 2-3 strength training sessions a week for about 20-30 minutes.

Give your muscles recovery time. You will need one full day of rest for each specific muscle group. It is during recovery when muscle mass is increased.

Remember to always get a doctors approval before starting a new workout program.

Mueller, Jen. "Why Strength Training Is a Must for Everyone." SparkPeople. Spark People. Web. 22 Apr. 2012.

Staff, Mayo Clinic. "Strength Training: Get Stronger, Leaner, Healthier." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 30 June 2010. Web. 22 Apr. 2012. <>.

No comments:

Post a Comment