I’m a big fan of of strength/resistance training. It took me forever to haul my lazy ass towards it, but I’m now a believer, and I cannot advocate it enough. Besides the obvious (and superficial) benefits of resistance training (any form of exercise that uses resistance to increase the strength of your muscles, endurance, bone density, etc.), here are some more reasons to adopt it into your fitness regimen.
It makes you stronger all over: Strength training isn’t just about ‘making body’ or building muscle. It improves both the form and function of your body. A well-rounded Strength Training program (at least 2 days a week) will improve joint function, bone density, muscle and ligament strength, lung and heart function as well as enhance your flexibility and balance.
The older we get, the more we need it: As we grow older, our lean muscle mass reduces. Strength training promotes lean muscle in the body and prevents fat from taking over. Also, because strength training improves functional movement, you drastically reduce the chances of falling, losing balance, losing coordination, as you grow older. It reduces the risk of getting osteoporosis.
It’ll give your metabolism a kick up its behind: Resistance training won’t just burn more calories for you, it will shoot your metabolism up. In fact you’ll continue to burn calories well after you say bye-bye to your workout for the day. And, the more lean muscle you continue to create in your body (through resistance training), the more calories you will burn for the same amount of exercise. Strength training will make you lean and strong, not skinny and loose like cardio tends to do.
It reduces all the bad stuff: A great resistance training routine will reduce:
- Your weight
- Chances of getting injured
- PMS symptoms
- The risk or heart disease and diabetes
- Your appetite for junk food
- Your inhibitions (because you look better, feel better, etc. etc.)
There’s a world beyond machines: You may think weights and strength machines are boring, but there’s so much more to strength training than the same old bench press, leg extension, curl, adductor and abductor blah… Resistance training has become interestingly innovative (and even colourful) with equipment such as ViPR, Kettlebells, Bosu balls, etc integrating 3 dimensional movements into strength work, so you engage your entire body instead of isolating muscle groups. More muscles engaged = better metabolism = stronger, faster = more calories burnt = more energy, etc.
So what say… add a little pick me up to your workout?