Strength training is something that can benefit almost anyone, no matter your age or gender. Not only does it help you lead a longer and stronger life, but it can drastically improve your mood and confidence. Women, in particular, can see tremendous improvements by implementing a strength training regime.
Builds & Maintains Muscle Mass
The first benefit is one of the most obvious; building and maintaining muscle mass. While there is no need to pile on dozens of pounds of muscle, having a healthy amount of muscle will make almost any physical activity easier.
As we age, we tend to become weaker, and simple tasks like opening a jar or carrying groceries can become tough. However, strength training can lessen these effects and will keep you stronger for longer.
Makes Your Joints Stronger
Women tend to suffer from bone and joint issues more than men due to how the different calcium needs. While bone and joint health can be affected by everything from the PH level of alkaline water to how much milk you drink, strength training can improve your joint health.
Strength training is low impact, and because of this, your joints can get the benefits of strength training but with a lower risk of injury.
Low Impact Cardio
Many studies and case studies have shown that strength training can be a better form of cardio compared to activities like walking or running. You will quickly notice how tired you get from lifting weights, especially if your rest periods are short.
Once again, since strength training is low impact, it is safer for your hips, knees, and ankles compared to running.
Maintaining and losing weight can be tough, but strength training can make the process much easier. Lifting weights requires a lot of calories and stored energy, and as you grow stronger and leaner, you burn these things off faster.
Big bodybuilders look so lean, partly because of the strength training they do. Your body can’t afford to store all the fat it is, as you need it for your workout.
Better Sleep and Mood
Exercise, in general, helps improve your sleep. Working out burns through all the energy that would otherwise keep your body awake, and you will quickly find yourself being able to fall asleep quicker and for longer.
Reducing stress can also be a benefit of regular workouts. That means a better mood after your workout and with regular exercise — Woohoo!
One apprehension many people have about strength training is that it has no real-world benefits. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Functional strength is one of the best things you can achieve.
As mentioned earlier, it can make almost every physical aspect of your life easier and help save your or someone else’s life. Being able to lift your body weight and move heavy objects can help you in an emergency.
How to Start Strength Training
Strength training is a process that you are always building on and improving, but if you are a beginner, there are four things you need to remember when you are getting started.
Start Slow & Light
The first thing you need to do is to start slow and light. Light dumbbells exist for a reason; they still have their uses and benefits. A mistake many beginners make is thinking that they need to lift and move a lot of weight to see the best and fastest benefits.
If you have never lifted weights before and start heavy, not only will you not be able to enough reps and sets, but you won’t be able to do them with proper form, which can lead to serious injury.
Hire a Trainer
When in doubt, hire a trainer to help you create a routine and set a benchmark for you to work from. A trainer is especially helpful if you want to achieve a particular goal and if you have any physical limitations that need to be factored in.
Someone who wants to become stronger to do their job properly isn’t going to have the same routine or goals as someone wanting to get beach-ready for a holiday they have in three months. You may even love the experience so much that you want to become a trainer yourself!
Change Your Diet
When it comes to any exercise, but in particular strength training, your diet is vital. Your body requires a lot of protein, fats, and carbohydrates when lifting weights; therefore, your approach to food needs to provide those things.
There are hundreds of easy recipes online for you to follow and many alternatives if you have any dietary restrictions.
Workout With a Friend
Another simple tip is to work out with a friend. Finding motivation can be tough, but working with someone with similar goals to you will help you stay motivated to get to the gym every day and improve.
As you can see, strength training has multiple benefits that can help and improve every aspect of your life. You will become fitter, healthier, stronger, happier, and you can add years to your life. If you haven’t considered it, now is the time to head to the gym and start pumping some iron.
Please note: Only start a new workout routine, including strength training, after getting approval from your doctor. Be safe, and cheers to better health!
Feature photo by Geert Pieters on Unsplash