So, I’m sure like many things, you’ve seen that you should strength train. I completely agree with that statement but I also understand why someone would wonder ‘why do I need to strength train?’ Well, I am here to tell you why and hope that by the end of this you will know your ‘why’ and start reaping the benefits of strength training.
Let’s first start by defining what strength training is. By common definition, strength training is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build strength, anaerobic endurance and size of skeletal muscles. In other words, it is activities that make muscles stronger.
Now let’s get to the ‘why’. The reasons I strength train are to feel stronger, more independent, prevent injury, increase flexibility, release endorphins (mood booster), boost my metabolism, improve my joint health, increase my endurance for teaching classes, sharpen my skills on the tennis court, enhance my running times and most importantly keep myself healthy. Believe it or not, those are just SOME of the benefits of strength training. If those haven’t convinced you, here are 10 other reasons strength training is incredible:
1. Makes you stronger – Increasing strength will make daily tasks much easier. Things like carrying your groceries or walking up a flight of stairs will become a lot easier because you have stronger muscles to help you out.
2. Helps manage blood sugar levels – Skeletal muscle helps increase insulin sensitivity by bringing glucose to the muscles. This can help lower your risk for diabetes.
3. Makes your bones stronger and helps decrease your risk of osteoporosis – This is HUGE especially in women as our bone density starts diminishing in our 30’s if we do not keep up with strength training. Muscle basically helps protect our bones and joints which in turn keeps them strong.
4. Improves mental health – Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins literally make us happier. Next time you are feeling down, head to the gym and hit the weights. I promise you will feel a million times better after!
5. Increases metabolism – It takes a lot to fuel muscle. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn to fuel that muscle, thus increasing your metabolism.
6. Promotes a better quality of life – When we are stronger, daily life activities are easier which makes life easier.
7. Reduce symptoms of chronic conditions – arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, depression, back pain, joint pain and so much more.
8. Improves heart health – Strength training helps to decrease blood pressure and the bad cholesterol and helps improve blood circulation to make the heart stronger.
9. Increases mobility – The stronger your muscles are, the less tension they put on your joints. When our joints have less pressure on them it allows for more mobility which makes it SO much easier to move.
10. Increases confidence – When you feel physically stronger you mentally feel a lot more capable which has a ripple effect. If you don’t believe me, give strength training a try for just four weeks. Write down how you feel physically and mentally at the beginning of the 4 weeks and at the end. I’m willing to bet you will see and feel an amazing difference.
Hopefully, by now, you are hooked and ready to get started on strength training. Before we get to putting strength training into action, I wanted to clear up some common misconceptions:
1. Strength training will not make you “bigger”. What it will do is make you stronger. I find a lot of women are afraid of strength training because they do not want to increase their size. Muscles only get “bigger” if you especially focus on making that muscle bigger by targeted exercise load and specific nutrition. General strength training will help you create lean muscle to protect your bones and joints.
2. “I do a lot of cardio, so I do not need to strength train”. This is something I hear all of the time and while cardio is amazing for cardiovascular health, strength training is what will keep your muscles strong to allow you to do that cardio without injury. Strength training is 9 times out of 10 that missing piece to meeting your next fitness goal.
So now the question is, ‘how’? You can build strength using weights, body weight and resistance. To learn the ropes sign up for a Strength Class at Fitness Unlimited, work with a personal trainer who will show you the correct form in order to build strength correctly or take one of our on-demand classes and build strength anywhere.
Try out resistance strength training today by taking my all levels Band Burn class, in just 30 minutes you’ll get those muscles burning and start building a stronger you! Take Band Burn on-demand here: https://vimeo.com/723335406.
As always, I hope this helps motivate you to incorporate fitness into your everyday routine. The benefits are endless and I promise it will help you feel amazing AND strong!
P.S. I’d love to hear your ‘WHY’. Message me anytime at Jillianboston24@gmail.com.