Most of us know resistance training should be part of our exercise routine, but do we really know why? The fact is strength training is crucial to health and wellness and everyone can and should be doing it—not just athletes or bodybuilders. Increased muscle strength allows you to function at a higher level in all areas of your life. Check out the mighty big benefits of getting strong.
“Strength training has been shown to increase lifespan by decreasing mortality rates in all major illnesses,” says Dr. Travis Russell, D.C., Chiropractic Director of Chiro One Wellness Center of Naperville and regular participant in Strongman competitions. “This has been proven to be true independent of cardiovascular fitness.”
Boost Your Metabolism
Want to get lean? Strength training increases your metabolism which leads to a decrease in body fat. When you train with weights, you burn calories galore. By breaking up the fiber of your muscles, then rebuilding and strengthening them, your body is working hard all day long. This process is a true metabolism booster.
Protect Your Joints
Besides the obvious effect of muscle strength; using weights as part of your workout also strengthens your tendons and ligaments, which helps prevent joint injuries and degeneration.
Elevate Your Mood
“When you’re strength training, you release endorphins, dopamine and serotonin,” explains
Dr. Travis. “Dopamine works to increase pain tolerance and serotonin is widely known as the “feel good” chemical of your body.” A recent Harvard Health Publications’ article reports decades of studies show increased levels of serotonin to improve mood disorders, including depression.
Incorporate strength training into your physical fitness regimen to help prevent or treat osteoporosis, a condition of weakening bones, decreased bone mineral density and increased risk of fracture. Resistance-based weight training three times a week at a force of two to three times one’s body weight triggers bone-building cells and increases crucial bone density.
“For people of all ages, if your goal is to be as healthy as possible, then strength training is crucial,” says Dr. Travis. “After a few short months, you’ll see noticeable changes in strength levels and in body appearance. And the health benefits will last a lifetime.” Look for upcoming Be Well posts that detail specific exercises to add to your strength-training plan.