Why You Should Add Strength Training To Your Workout : Stay Fit and Healthy

Why You Should Add Strength Training To Your Workout

by Carole Phillips on 09/19/10

Studies show that strength training can benefit your heart, improve your balance, strengthen your bones and help you lose weight.  Strength training is not just about bodybuilders lifting weights in the gym, it can benefit people of all ages and may be particularly important for people with health issues such as arthritis or a heart condition.

  1. Strength training protects bone health and muscle mass.  After puberty, whether you are a man or a woman, you begin to lose about 1% of bone and muscle strength every year.  One of the best ways to stop, prevent and even reverse bone and muscle loss is to add strength training to your workout.
  2. Strength training makes you stronger and fitter.
  3. Strength training helps you develop better body mechanics.  Your balance and coordination will improve as will your posture.  More importantly, if you have poor flexibility and balance, strength training can reduce your risk of falling by as much as 40%, a crucial benefit as you get older.
  4. Strength training plays a role in disease prevention.  Strength training can be as effective as medication in decreasing arthritis pain,. it can help post-menopausal women increase their bone density and, along with other healthy lifestyle changes, it can help improve glucose control for people with type 2 diabetes.
  5. Strength training boosts energy levels and improves your mood, it has been shown to be a great antidepressant, to help you sleep better and to improve your overall quality of life.
  6. Strenth training translates to more calories burned.  You burn calories during strength training and your body continues to burn calories after.  More calories are used to make and maintain muscle than fat and, in fact, strength training can boost your metabolism by 15%.

Don't limit yourself to thinking that lifting weights, expensive machines or a gym membership is the only way to do strength training.  Pushups, squats, lunges, etc. are all examples of exercises that provide strength training.

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