What are the benefits of strength-based training?
Surviving in a highly-competitive professional culture is not the easiest thing to do today. People spend their days and nights to make their ends meet and in the process they completely ignore their body’s needs. They turn a blind eye to their health and wellness. The result is the rise in number of mental and physical health issues at a global level. People need to create a window for physical activity, which is not an easy task at all. However, creating this window will pay huge dividends in the long run.
What’s Physical Activity?
Any physical activity involved in the maintenance and enhancement of physical fitness and overall health is considered physical exercise. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind and, thus, an improved quality of life. There is no one specific exercise that can keep you healthy. It is dependent upon your goals and, most importantly, your consistency. If you are an athlete, you will be incorporating different types of exercises ranging from mild to extreme in your training program. If your life vocation does not require you to be very agile, you can opt for any of the physical training exercises that you can keep up consistently.
Several reasons lead to the incorporation of physical activity in daily life. It helps strengthen muscles and cardiovascular system, hones athletic skills, facilitates weight loss, and sometimes just for the joy of being physically active. Humans are designed to be physically active; therefore, there should be a minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity throughout the week. It should be a part of your everyday life. Instead of using the car to work or school, you can walk, jog, or cycle to keep those muscles moving! It depends upon your stamina and your lifestyle, whether you want to go for a moderate-intensity activity or vigorous-intensity activity. The latter carries more health benefits as compared to the former. It has to do with your heart rate, as high-intensity workout results in optimal blood supply to all the body tissues/organs.
Moderate Intensity Activity- Aerobic Exercise
Moderate-intensity exercise includes aerobic exercise. Any physical activity that causes increased use of oxygen as compared to the resting state is known as aerobic exercise. An increased heart rate escalates during the practice, and the oxygen is used to burn/break down fats and glucose. Examples of aerobic exercise are cardiovascular exercises & low-intensity steady-state exercises (LISS).
High-Intensity Activity- Anaerobic Exercise
High-intensity exercise or anaerobic exercise is the least common of the two. It is known as anaerobic because, during the training, the oxygen demand exceeds the oxygen supply. This kind of physical activity is mostly dependent upon the energy sources stored in the muscles. Most usually, high-intensity workouts are done in short spells. Weight training, sprinting & high-intensity interval training (HIIT) are some examples of top intensity activities.
If there has not been any regular exercise for an extended period due to chronic health problems (heart disease, arthritis, diabetes), it is recommended to consult with a doctor before initiating any exercise program.
Apart from the categories mentioned above, physical exercises are generally categorized into three types, depending on their overall effect on the human body:
- Cardiovascular Exercise
- Strength Training or Resistance Exercise
- Stretching and Flexibility Exercise
Physical exercise can also include training that centers on accuracy, agility, power, and speed.
We will be looking in-depth into the benefits of strength training; therefore, it makes sense to explore what strength training is all about.
Resistance exercise or strength training is a short-lasting, high-intensity activity and usually falls under anaerobic exercise category. There is another fun way of understanding strength training, but for that, you have to know your physics. If you are familiar with Newton’s second law of motion, then it will be much easier for you to understand what is involved in strength training. You apply force, i.e., strength, to accelerate the muscle machinery in your body. The efficiency of that intramuscular and intermuscular coordination determines the outcome of your strength coordination.
Strength training may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but its benefits are certainly what t everyone should aim for. It can firm, strengthen, and tone muscles, in addition to the improvement of bones (strengthening), balance, and coordination. We will go into the details of the benefits later in the article. Strength training involves sets, repetitions, or tempos with different forces to achieve desired changes in the body. Your goals set the strength training routines. The more muscle you want to build, the higher the power you will have to apply, and the fewer the repetitions.
Strength training can further divide into isometric strength training and isotonic strength training.
- Isometric strength training involves muscle contraction against a static object, such as against the floor in a push-up.
- Isotonic strength training involves the contraction of muscles through a range of motion as in weight lifting.
A fact that must be kept in mind when going for strength training is that every person has a different body and, thus, a different requirement for each exercise and repetitions. The exercise routines are set initially for a person’s fitness level. Weights and repetitions are increased along with the intensity and time according to progress.
Here are some common examples of strength training
- Bicep curls using dumbbells
- Weight training
- Leg raises
- Tricep dips
- Tuck jumps
Strength training requires the supervision of a professional trainer in a controlled setting. The reason for hiring a trainer is that, firstly, it is a high-intensity activity that may cause injuries if not performed adequately, and secondly, it is a type of exercise that has to be scaled up according to the fitness level. A professional knows more about the human anatomy and body limits than a layperson, therefore, do not take lightly any discomfort you feel during strength training. Observe the training routine of any athlete, and you will come to know that they train either in a physical training center or in the presence of a professional trainer. If you wish to look for training equipment options before embarking your strength-training journey, check out demetzonlinepersonaltraining.com and get a good idea of where to start.
BENEFITS OF STRENGTH TRAINING
Strength training is not a walk in the park, but it certainly comes with its far-reaching benefits. If you wish for a good quality of life, then do try to make it a part of your routine. Let’s explore what you can gain out of strength training.
STRONG AND FIT
It can seem repetitive, but that is what precisely an excellent strength-training regime will achieve. It is going to make you healthy and fit, both physically and mentally. Your muscular strength is enhanced manifold. Taking those grocery bags from the car to the kitchen won’t seem like a chore anymore. Not to mention lifting and moving furniture during a house renovation. So, the benefit of being active and fit is not limited to a healthy body alone. The chores that may have tired you earlier or the tasks for which you had to rely on others, no longer remain a cause of worry. A well-planned and consistent strength-training routine will turn you into a healthy and fit independent and active person.
Numerous studies have found an essential correlation between strength training and bone health. Bone density, bone strength, and structure undergo massive enhancement as a result of consistent high-intensity strength training. Women are more prone to osteoporosis and fractures due to low bone mass post-menopause. Studies have shown that a strength-training routine of half an hour twice a week significantly improves the bone health of postmenopausal women. If strength training is so effective in women around 45-50 and above, then its benefits in maintaining and preserving bone health in younger individuals can be multiple folds. If you carry out the training according to the advice of a professional, which is by your fitness level, then strength training carries no adverse effects either. Improvement in bone health is essential to protect yourself from fractures and osteoporosis.
There is a decline in the production of growth hormones as we age, more specifically, after 30. 3-5% of lean muscle mass is lost every year or around 8-10% each decade after age 30. Human metabolism is dependent upon your muscles. Therefore, if the muscle mass declines, the metabolism will slow down as well. It is where strength training can be your savior. An exciting aspect of strength training is that you can achieve great results even if you train twice a week instead of daily. However, you have to be consistent with your bi-weekly routine. If you are involved in a strength training exercise twice a week, the loss of muscle mass in a decade after age 30 will drop down to 1-2% instead of 8-10%. Do not deprive yourself of this fantastic and astounding benefit of strength training. Retaining most of your muscle mass well into your 60s and 70s in no small feat.
Strength training does not only preserve your muscle mass but also increases it as you train. Increased muscle mass and strength are instrumental in maintaining muscle, bone, and joint health, especially as we age.
Strength training is not usually associated with losing weight or shedding excessive fat. Most of us rely on aerobic exercises such as walking, cycling, or running to achieve that goal. Strength training may not be directly related, but it has your resting metabolism increases as a result of strength training. Where aerobic exercise is about burning calories when you are exercising, strength training achieves that while you are resting or doing just about any regular life activity. The metabolic activity of your body remains active even after you have stopped practicing. It is the case even after aerobic exercise, but the period during which the metabolism is active after the workout is more in strength training than after an aerobic routine.
It results in a breakdown of calories and burning excessive fats that, in turn, leads to weight maintenance and weight loss.
CHRONIC DISEASE MANAGEMENT
Chronic diseases like arthritis and type II diabetes becomes manageable with the help of a strength-training regime. In many instances, strength training is more effective than medication in dealing with arthritis. Diabetes is one of the most common diseases globally, and there is no specific cure for it. Various studies prove that strength training, in conjunction with other requisite lifestyle changes, is quite effective in disease management. Since diabetes affects most of the body organs, it makes quite a lot of sense to include strength training as part of diabetes management.
CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH BENEFITS
If you have some cardiac health issues, do not go for strength training without proper medical advice. However, if your goal is to improve your cardiovascular health by strength training, then you can include it in your exercise routine alongside aerobic exercise. Doing any muscle strengthening exercise twice a week, along with 2.5 hours of weekly aerobic activity will significantly lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and also reduce hypertension. If you are hypertensive or prone to it, then it is highly recommended to follow this combination routinely to manage your blood pressure better.
BOOST IN ENERGY
Strength training is not only about improving your physical fitness level, but it also has a positive influence on your energy level and mood by stimulating brain activity. It is because of the release of endorphins, the neurochemical responsible for positive emotions and pain relief. Increased energy levels result in a better quality of life. Strength training is also responsible for improved sleep.
IMPROVED BODY MECHANICS
Whether you are having trouble with your posture, balance, and coordination or not, it is a good idea to start working on improving it. The reason is you may have difficulty with any of these at some point in your life. Strength training provides you an easy option to prevent any present or future issues with your body mechanics. You have already learned that strength training helps with improved bone and muscle mass. Your body mechanics rely on these for posture, balance, and coordination. The older people are more prone to falls because of low bone density and muscle mass. Strength training solves all of these issues for you.
LOW INJURY RISK
The risk and probability of injuries reduce because of strength training. High muscular mass and bone density provides support to joints that limit the chance of damage to joints, ligaments, and tendons. Furthermore, healing is also quicker in those individuals who are actively following a strength-training regime.
In addition to all these benefits, lets briefly explore how strength training benefits your body.
- Agile Strength: Your ability to move heavy objects from one location to another enhances and the risk of injuries is reduced
- Strength Endurance: It makes it more comfortable to perform a task that requires the usage of the same muscles for an extended period. It improves the aerobic capacity of working muscles at the same time.
- Explosive Strength: More useful for athletes as it involves producing a lot of force in little time. It reduces reaction time and also improves the strength of muscles and connective tissues.
- Starting Strength: The ability to produce force without momentum is another visible change brought to your body courtesy strength training.
Strength training is just one way of improving your quality of life. If you have ever envied the fitness level of a professional athlete, know that strength training is a regular feature of their life. If you find yourself deflated and lazy most of the time, consider drawing up a strength training routine for yourself, and you will notice the positive changes within days.