When most people think of starting strength training, they picture body builders and bulky muscles. That is just one outcome, based on the trainer and the person they’re training if you’re a man. While some women can develop denser muscle mass, it takes hours of dedication for years and often supplementation for women to bulk up. Unlike men, they don’t have the body chemistry it takes to get big bulky muscles. In other words, if you’re a woman, you can drop that worry about looking like the Incredible Hulk when you add strength training to your workout. What you will get is a huge health benefit and a great, sculpted appearance.
You’ll increase your muscle mass and that makes it easier to shed those extra pounds.
Loss of muscle mass—sarcopenia—starts earlier than you think. If you’ve never been active or started to live a sedentary lifestyle as an adult, you might even show signs of sarcopenia as early as your twenties. Loss of muscle tissue makes it far harder to lose weight, since muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does, so you burn more calories around the clock when you have more. Obesity has become the leading cause of preventable deaths, since it leads to serious conditions, such as diabetes.
One proven aid to maintain bone density doesn’t come from a prescription drug, but strength training.
Weight bearing exercises that includes everything from walking to weight lifting. Studies show that weight bearing exercises can be as effective as many drugs for osteoporosis. One article from the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research based on research at Griffith University, in Queensland, Australia showed that high-intensity resistance training done twice a week improved the bone mass of postmenopausal women who had low bone mass. Best of all, there were no side effects from this type of treatment. Strength training can build muscles and more muscle mass means stronger bones.
Strength training helps lower blood pressure.
While you shouldn’t throw away your blood pressure pills the minute you start strength training, you should make sure that you not only talk to your doctor about your plans, but also have regular blood pressure checks to make sure the medication is still appropriate after a few months. When you build muscle strength, they contract easier, so it’s easier and doesn’t make the heart work as hard. One precaution. While you’re lifting, you actually raise your blood pressure, temporarily. Always make sure you’re fit enough to participate in physical exercise before you start any program.
- You’ll build muscle tissue that also helps you improve your balance. That can help prevent falls and injuries.
- Weight-lifting and strength-training is exceptional for eliminating belly fat. Belly fat, visceral fat, is the hardest to lose and also the most dangerous to your health. Strength-training eliminates it better than cardiovascular workouts.
- Strength-training helps control blood sugar levels.
- Consistent strength-training can also boost your mental health and cognitive functioning. Studies show that not only does it boost “happy hormone” levels, it also improves scores on tests measuring cognitive functioning in older adults with cognitive decline.