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The Benefits of Strength Training and 6 Quick Tips to Help You Get You Started

written by Vidya Sury October 24, 2022
The Benefits of Strength Training and 6 Tips to Help You Get You Started

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This post describes why you need strength training, the benefits of strength training, and tips to get you started. Strength training is an important part of a well-rounded fitness program.

As we age, our lean muscle mass diminishes. Some of the activities we did easily start becoming just a little harder. According to a study by Harvard Health, sarcope­nia or age-related muscle loss can begin at around age 35 and occurs at a rate of 1 to 2 percent a year for the typical person. Once you turn 60, age-related muscle loss speeds up. Muscle loss can also be a result of not having enough protein and amino acids in the diet.

Can you prevent muscle loss?

The good news is, by staying active and consuming a well-balanced diet can keep your muscles healthy and working their best. In addition, there are many strength-training exercises that you can add to your daily routine to help prevent muscle loss.

Let’s look at the benefits of strength training.

14 Important Benefits of Strength-training  

Strength training preserves and enhances your muscle mass at any age. Some easy daily exercises to prevent muscle loss are push-ups, sit-ups, dips, squats, lunges, planks, and some types of yoga. Just two or three 20- or 30-minute strength training sessions every week can bring you major health benefits.

1. Increased muscle mass

Aging results in a decrease in muscle mass and strength training can help reverse it.

2. Stronger bones, osteoporosis prevention and management

Strength training increases bone mineral density and reduces the risk of fractures.

Weight-bearing exercise in which you’re standing with gravity pulling down on your body lightly stresses and strengthens the bones and muscles. Also, each time a muscle contracts, it pulls on the bones it is attached to and this stimulates the cells in the bone to produce structural proteins and move minerals into the bone.

So, focus on squats and lunges. One study states that 12 weeks of strength training with squats increased lower spine and femur (thigh) bone mineral density by 2.9% and 4.9%, respectively.

3. Flexible joints

Strength training keeps joints flexible and reduces the symptoms of arthritis.

4. Weight control

A 2014 study found that strength training is more effective at preventing increases in abdominal fat than cardiovascular exercise. It not only burns calories but also increases muscle mass, boosting metabolism. Muscle mass determines basal metabolic rate which is the number of calories the body burns per day to sustain physiologic functions.

As you build muscle, your body burns more calories easily and helps you control your weight.

5. Better balance and lower risk of injury

For all movement, balance, coordination, and injury prevention, a good muscle base is important. Weak muscles add stress to the connecting tendons and cause tendonitis. Strength training increases the number and diameter of collagen fibrils in tendons, strengthening them and reducing falls and injury, and increasing flexibility and balance as per a 2015 review.

6. Manage chronic conditions.

Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, such as arthritis, back pain, obesity, heart disease, depression, and diabetes.

7. Better Brain Health

Strength training can improve brain power but more effectively in older adults suffering from cognitive decline as it gets the blood, oxygen, and other nutrients flowing throughout the body, including the brain. Research also suggests that regular strength training and aerobic exercise can help improve thinking and learning skills for older adults.

8. Strengthened Mental Health

Strength training improves symptoms of clinical depression and anxiety. Endorphins generated by exercise play a role in this. Strength training also helps increase mental resilience.

For the greatest anti-anxiety effects, a 2014 review shows that using low to moderately heavy weights that are lighter than 70% of what you can lift for one rep has the greatest effects on anxiety.

The Benefits of Strength Training and 6 Tips to Help You Get You Started

9. Better Cardiovascular Health

Abdominal fat or visceral fat in and around the vital organs is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Visceral fat is linked to CVD because it’s associated with the release of certain proteins and hormones that cause inflammation. which damages blood vessels, increases blood pressure and leads to other cardiac problems. So, preventing or reducing any excess abdominal fat through strength training can help improve heart health.

A 2013 research shows that young men who regularly strength train have improved HDL, or good cholesterol, compared with those who don’t. Strength training improves blood pressure and triglyceride levels just as cardiovascular exercise does, but it has even greater benefits on HDL.

10. Controlled Blood Sugar Levels

Those with Type 2 diabetes can benefit from resistance training. Research shows that in addition to building muscle, strength training also improves the muscle’s ability to absorb and utilize glucose, or blood sugar.

11. Reduced Cancer Risk

Besides increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes, visceral fat not only increases the risk of cancer. Research shows that visceral fat cells produce high levels of a cancer-triggering protein called fibroblast growth factor-2, or FGF2.

12. Improved Flexibility and Mobility

By taking your joints through their full range of motion when you do strength exercises, you can increase that range of motion over time and improve flexibility, according to a  2017 study.

The Benefits of Strength Training and 6 Tips to Help You Get You Started

13. Better Body Image

While exercise influences body composition and physique, a study of middle-aged and older women, shows that consistent strength training improves body image and perceived physical appearance – no matter what the actual aesthetic results.

14. A Longer Lifespan

2017 report suggested that muscle strength and lean muscle mass may serve as better measures of a person’s overall health than body mass index or BMI.

A recent study states that people who do muscle-strengthening workouts are less likely to die prematurely than those who don’t, endorsing previous evidence that strength training has long-term health benefits.

Strength training is a great way to improve your overall health and fitness. It can help build muscle, burn fat, and increase your strength and endurance. But, if you’re new to strength training, it can be tough to know where to start.

The Benefits of Strength Training and 6 Tips to Help You Get You Started

So here are six tips to help you create your strength training journey.

1. Talk to Your Doctor First

Before starting any new fitness program, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or injuries that could be aggravated by strength training. Then, your doctor can give you the green light to start strength training and offer any advice or precautions to take.

2. Find a Workout Partner

A workout partner can make strength training more enjoyable and help you stay motivated. Find a friend or family member interested in starting a strength training program, and then you can work out together. Having someone to spot you during exercises can also be helpful, especially if you’re new to lifting weights.

3. Join a Gym

If you want to lift weights but don’t have any equipment at home, joining a gym is a great option. You’ll have access to free weights, weight machines, and other equipment at the gym to help you with your strength training workouts. Many gyms also offer group fitness classes, which can be a great way to get started if you feel unsure about how to do the exercises on your own.

4. Start Slow

When starting a strength training program, remember to ease into it gradually. If you try to do too much too soon, you risk injuring yourself or getting burnt out quickly. Instead, start with a few days of strength training per week, and then increase the frequency as you become more comfortable with the exercises. And when performing the activities themselves, start with lighter weights and only do as many repetitions as you feel satisfied with. You can always increase the weight and number of reps as your strength improves.

5. Focus on Form

When lifting weights, it’s essential to focus on form rather than how much weight you’re lifting. If your form is incorrect, you could injure yourself even if the weight is relatively light. So take your time learning how to do each exercise properly before adding more weight. And if at any point you feel pain during a workout, stop immediately and consult your doctor before continuing.

The Benefits of Strength Training and 6 Tips to Help You Get You Started

Here are some weightlifting tips for beginners from Healthline

Once you’re ready to get started with a strength training program, keep the following tips in mind to get the best benefits from strength training.

  • Warm-up. Some aerobic activity, such as a 5-minute jog or brisk walk, will increase blood flow to your muscles and prime them for a good workout. Skipping rope or doing jumping jacks for a few minutes are also good warmup options.
  • Start with lighter weights. You want to start with a weight that you can lift 10 to 15 times with proper form. Begin with 1 or 2 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions, and slowly progress to 3 sets or more.
  • Gradually increase the weight. When you can easily do the recommended number of sets and reps, increase the weight by 5 to 10 percent. Check to make sure this is the right weight for you before doing a full workout.
  • Rest for at least 60 seconds in between sets. This helps prevent muscle fatigue, especially as you start out.
  • Limit your workout to no longer than 45 minutes. You can get the workout you need in this time frame. Longer sessions may not lead to better results and may increase your risk of burnout and muscle fatigue.
  • Gently stretch your muscles after your workout. Stretching can help boost your flexibility, ease muscle tension, and reduce your risk of injury.
  • Rest a day or two in between workouts. Resting gives your muscles time to recover and replenish energy stores before your next workout.

6. Follow the Right Diet

Strength training requires energy, so it’s essential to fuel your body correctly before and after workouts. Eating a diet high in protein can help build muscle, while complex carbs can provide the energy you need for your activities. And be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. You can also invest in good supplements from pharmagear.pro to enhance your strength training journey.

Strength training is a great way to improve your overall health and fitness levels—but it’s essential to do it safely and correctly to avoid injuring yourself or getting discouraged along the way. By following these six tips, you’ll be well on your way towards starting—and sticking with—a successful strength training program that will help improve your health for years to come!

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