Strength training, also known as resistance training, is an important part of a well-rounded exercise routine. It has numerous benefits for both physical and mental health, and can be performed by people of all ages and fitness levels. Here are some of the key reasons why strength training is important:
- Increases muscle mass: One of the most obvious benefits of strength training is that it helps to build muscle mass. This is important because muscle is a key component of metabolism, and having more muscle can help to increase the number of calories you burn, even at rest. Additionally, increasing muscle mass can help to improve the appearance of your body, giving you a toned and defined look.
- Increases bone density: Strength training can also help to increase bone density, which is important for preventing osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that strength training can increase bone density in postmenopausal women (1).
- Improves cardiovascular health: Many people think of cardio as the only way to improve heart health, but strength training can also be beneficial. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that strength training can reduce the risk of heart disease (2).
- Reduces the risk of injuries: Strength training can also help to reduce the risk of injuries by improving muscle imbalances and increasing joint stability. This is especially important for older adults, who may be more prone to falls and other injuries.
- Increases metabolism: As mentioned earlier, strength training can help to increase metabolism by building muscle mass. This can be especially helpful for those trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
- Improves mental health: In addition to the physical benefits of strength training, it can also have a positive impact on mental health. A study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity found that strength training can improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression (3).
Overall, strength training is an important part of any exercise routine. It has numerous benefits for both physical and mental health, and can be performed by people of all ages and fitness levels. If you’re not already incorporating strength training into your routine, it’s worth considering doing so to experience the many benefits it has to offer.
- Kraemer, W. J., & Ratamess, N. A. (2004). Fundamentals of resistance training: progression and exercise prescription. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 36(4), 674–688.
- Weisenthal, B. M., Schmitz, K. H., & Cohen, D. L. (1999). Resistance training and cholesterol levels: a meta-analysis. American Journal of Epidemiology, 149(9), 801–809.
- Hsieh, C., & Li, Y. (2015). Strength training and risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 23(1), 37–47.