While “bulking up” may have a negative connotation for many people, there is a science behind strength training that allows people to gain a lean and attractive body while still gaining muscle. New research over the past few years has discovered that long and steady aerobic exercise is one of the least effective forms of exercise and it's also one of the most time consuming. Research even shows that it could even be counterproductive as it is very catabolic on your body. Strength training, done in a scientific method, however has many benefits and will help you live a longer, healthier and happier life.
The Benefits of Strength Training on your Long-Term Health:
1. Weight Loss, Fat Burning and Proper Long Term Weight Maintenance
Strength training is the key to consistent and long term weight loss and maintenance because muscle burns more calories and higher calorie burn equals loss of fat! People who have more muscle, burn more calories daily, just by maintaining their regular routine. When you continue to strength train with a high percentage of muscle mass, you are compounding that burn and increasing your metabolic rate, up to 15%. Fat on the other hand uses very little energy and will not only, NOT burn calories, but will continue to accumulate and become more difficult to get rid of. Terrence Thomas of the C.H.E.K Institute says “Muscles are your engines for weight loss.” Strength training done at a relatively moderate level of intensity can stimulate your metabolism for up to 72 hours after the training, whereas cardio training will stress the adrenal glands and release the stress hormone cortisol, not only during the activity, but after. The Bottom line is that strength training allows you to get more by doing less and will help you maintain a consistent and healthy weight without stressing out the body.
2. Strengthening of Bone, Prevention of Osteoporosis, Arthritis and Injury
The CDC states that “Post-menopausal women can lose 1-2% of their bone mass annually,” but a study at Tufts University demonstrated “strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk for fractures among women aged 50-70.” In fact, a recent article in Forbes magazine states that “Research has clearly shown that strength training can help to reduce the pace of bone loss, while some studies have demonstrated that such training can actually help to build bone... Movements and exercises that place stress on bones help to form additional calcium deposits and stimulate bone forming cells." Building healthy and strong bones greatly helps to prevent injury as you age. By simply adding a regimen of strength training 2 days a week, one can prevent bone loss, arthritis, prevent the need for osteoporosis medication and lower risks for falls and bone fractures.
There are millions of dollars spent each year on prescription pills to help people sleep better at night. Meanwhile studies show that people who regularly participate in strength training exercises are much less likely to have difficulty falling asleep at night and will have an easier time staying asleep. The CDC states that people that strength train “fall asleep more quickly, sleep more deeply, awaken less often, and sleep longer. As with depression, the sleep benefits obtained as a result of strength training are comparable to treatment with medication but without the side effects or the expense.”
Regulating your blood sugar is of extreme importance to one’s health. Having a blood sugar level either too high or too low can lead to a lot of health problems. The CDC states that . “More than 14 million Americans have type II diabetes—a staggering 300% increase over the past 40 years—and the numbers are steadily climbing…Fortunately, studies now show that lifestyle changes such as strength training have a profound impact on helping older adults manage their diabetes.”
According to Skyler Tanner in his seminar Strength Training and Biomarkers of Aging, "Strength training drains glucose like you wouldn't believe. Two sets of 10... use about five grams of glucose, or to keep it simple, carbohydrates. So, a workout might use 35 to 60 grams of carbohydrates, depending on how long it is, with weights. It's not nearly as aggressively draining those muscle tissues with a cardiorespiratory-type training.” One recent study of both men and women during a 16 week strength training regimen were able to see nearly the same results as taking diabetes medication, not to mention that they lost weight, gained muscle and felt better and happier.
Despite the vocab, cardio (short for cardiovascular) training is not the best bang for your buck to see improvements in your heart. In fact, strength training is very much a cardiovascular strengthener. Over the long-term of a consistent and proper strength training program, your body will see the benefits of weight loss, bone strength and an overall increase in health. Your heart reaps the benefit of a lean and strong body and your risk for heart diseases are much lower. The CDC states “one study found that cardiac patients gained not only strength and flexibility but also aerobic capacity when they did strength training three times a week as part of their rehabilitation program. This and other studies have prompted the American Heart Association to recommend strength training as a way to reduce risk of heart disease and as a therapy for patients in cardiac rehabilitation programs.” In a 20 minute time-frame of a higher intensity strength training workout, you will be using both your aerobic (traditionally termed, cardio) and your anaerobic systems and the research shows that you need to stress both of these systems in order to get the most optimal cardiovascular benefit. Your body was designed to work best putting a higher load on your body in a short amount of time and exhausting both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.
The impact that a regular exercise routine can have on your day-to-day happiness may truly surprise you. Besides changing your physical appearance and your health, which is proven to contribute to a happier state of mind, strength training boosts your self confidence by challenging yourself to make it through tough trainings and lift heavy weights. The accomplishment alone of performing these tasks is enough to boost your disposition. Scientifically, however, the proof is more than that. When you work out, endorphins are released from the brain, resulting in happiness, similar to the feeling of a sincere and hearty laugh. The CDC states that “Strength training is proven to work better than anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications. It is a combination of the biochemical changes such as the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and changes to hormones and the fact that people feel better and more confident when they are stronger.” After a training session, most people report feeling more relaxed, happier and having higher levels of energy than when they started.
It’s never too late to start a training program and no matter when you begin, the benefits can be experienced right away. The long-term benefits however, can be achieved with a consistent and proper program. Once implemented routinely, strength training can slow and even reverse the physiological aging clock. Studies show that above the age of 30, without a strength training program, you lose 1% of muscle and this number compounds as you age. Above the ages of 50 & 60, this number grows exponentially. Your strength and muscle naturally decline with age, but minimizing this decline with strength training contributes to a younger, happier and healthier you.
Seana can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.newfairfieldpersonaltraining.com
The information above was provided by Earthfit New Fairfield and does not necessarily represent the official views of the owner of this site. I support the fertility community and overall health and wellness.. Sharing guest posts and information about resources on my blog are to support the cause of infertility and health and wellness. I continue to raise awareness while sharing tips and resources to my readers. All posts to my site are for informational purposes only.