Some of the benefits of strength training include increased bone density, better joint function as well as stronger muscles, ligaments and tendons. This kind of exercise will also improve your cardiovascular health, boost your stamina, decrease fatigue and help with the management of conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, depression and diabetes.
As we age, muscle mass starts to decrease. Without regular exercise, this leads to an increase in body fat percentage. However, strength training will help you preserve and increase muscle at any age.
Another major benefit is weight loss, with university studies showing 44% more fat loss in women on a weight loss diet combined with strength training, as opposed to a weight loss diet alone. During a resistance workout you will be burning calories, and this process will continue long after you complete your workouts. More muscles need more fuel to maintain themselves, which means your resting metabolism is boosted by strength training. One kilogram of fat burns around ten calories a day, while a kilogram of muscle burns around 150 to 300 calories a day.
Strength training can also help with weight management once you have reached your goal. Continued training can help to maintain muscle density, leading to an increased resting metabolism.
Resistance training is one of the best ways to build strength. This could be done in a gym using weights or resistance bands. You can also use strength by using your own body weight. This is a good method if you're starting out, as there is no equipment needed and you can exercise in your home.
If you decide to undergo a strength regime with weight loss being your goal, be aware that while your shape may change, the number on the scales may not go down. Muscle is much more dense than fat, so while you may be carrying less fat, your weight may remain the same. A better way to track your progress is by taking your own measurements every two to four weeks. You might even go by the fit of an old pair of jeans.
There's no need to hit the gym every day or to become an aspiring body building. Simply working out for strength twice a week, or including some strength exercises in your current fitness regime will bring plenty of benefits. Exercise physiologists recommend the ideal amount of strength training is two sessions a week.
If you're starting out with exercise, it's recommended to first speak with your family doctor and also to get some help from a professional as to form and techniques so as to avoid any injury. Getting some help in the beginning will also see you gain muscles more efficiently.