75% of US adults don’t achieve the American Heart Association and Centers for Disease Control minimum recommendation of 2-3 days of strength training per week. Here are 10 reasons you should engage in strength training every week.
There are two types of resistance-based strength training: Isometric Resistance (contracting muscles against non-moving object, such as planking on floor) and Isotonic (contracting muscles through range of motion, such as bench press with weights). Both increase lean muscle mass, making you stronger and more toned.
More calories are used to make and maintain muscle than fat. Building muscle can boost your metabolism by as much as 15%.
Muscle tissue is the most metabolically active tissue in your body, and the breakdown of old protein and synthesis of new protein in your muscles accounts for roughly 1/5 of your resting metabolic rate, according to Len Kravitz, Ph.D. for the University of New Mexico.
Whether you are a man or a woman, you begin to lose ~1% of your bone density every year. “One of the best ways to stop, prevent, and even reverse bone and muscle loss is to add strength training to your workouts,” advises Troy Tuttle, MS, an exercise physiologist at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston.
An often overlooked effect of strength training is its benefits for injury prevention. Resistance training helps strengthen muscle and tendons while increasing the flexibility of the ligaments, decreasing the risk of one becoming strained or torn.
Strength training aids in balance, coordination and posture. If you have poor flexibility and balance, strength training can reduce your risk of falling by as much as 40%, a crucial benefit, especially as you get older.
Strength training will elevate your level of endorphins (natural opiates produced by the brain), which will make you feel great. This is why people who strength train often refer to getting an “endorphin rush.”
A recent study revealed that women who followed a weight-training routine 3 times a week increased the amount of calories burned in normal daily activity (in addition to those burned during exercise), helping them to maintain their current weight.
Not only does strength training help you get toned, as you get in shape you also see improvements in your resting metabolic rate, glucose metabolism, blood pressure, insulin resistance and gastrointestinal transit time. Resistance training can improve stamina, and even help to prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Clinical studies have linked strength training to improved sleep, reduced depression and even better cognitive abilities.