Completing exercises that are designed to strengthen and increase the endurance of our body’s muscles are known by several names. Resistance training, lifting, weight training, and strength training all refer to the healthy habit of using some form of resistance that causes our muscles to contract. By repeatedly causing a muscle to contract under resistance, it is possible to improve its strength, endurance, and size.
Resistance training is possible by various methods, some far more affordable than others. For example, bodyweight training just uses the weight of your own body to provide resistance, so this is by far the most affordable method. Loop bands and resistance tubing are another fantastic, accessible, affordable, and portable way to get fit.
Other methods, usually located in your local gym or municipal fitness center, include free weights and weight machines. Some newer models of weight machines may feel like you are looking at a rocket’s control panel; you may want to engage the expertise of a fitness trainer to ensure you are using it correctly.
No matter what method you choose to improve the health of your body and its muscles, you are providing several key benefits to your overall health, lifestyle, and the aging process. In addition, it is possible to begin weight training with just your body and a few items you have around the house.
Further, it’s possible to gradually build a great home gym with a few inexpensive pieces of fitness equipment! Its relatively well understood that weight training will increase bone density and strength and improve muscular strength, tone, and endurance. But there are many other benefits to this training modality, so read on to learn how you can improve your health!
When we train our muscles under resistance, we focus on many different and critical aspects of our bodies. In addition, we are concentrating on our technique so that the exercises we are doing are practical. Because of this mental focus, we become more aware of our body, how it moves and how it doesn’t move. This heightened awareness also improves our flexibility, balance, and movement, which will help us to stay more independent as we get older.
When training, we think about our posture, so we stand taller with our body in an optimal alignment. With this mental focus on proper movement and posture, continued resistance training will eventually improve mobility and balance. When we have optimal mobility and balance, we are less likely to suffer a fall.
Like any other form of physical activity, resistance training releases those feel-good hormones called endorphins; some research suggests that weight training causes more endorphins to be released than when performing cardiovascular exercise.
Endorphins act to reduce our sensation of pain and also cause us to have a positive, almost euphoric feeling, a definite plus to working out! In addition, all exercise, including lifting weights, increases our self-esteem; this leads to better performance and enjoyment in all other aspects of life.
If improved muscles, better balance, and feeling great weren’t enough, consider these further benefits of resistance training. Many find that regular strength training improves sleep and reduces bouts of insomnia. In addition, research suggests that regular weight training will help reduce our cognitive decline as we age and help prevent or better control lifestyle-related diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.
The progression and outcomes of other diseases, such as arthritis, back pain, depression, and anxiety, may also be improved through resistance training. Our body composition shifts toward a better balance between fat and lean tissue when we train using resistance. Weight training is a fantastic fat burner! Our metabolism is boosted, and so we burn lots of calories efficiently. So, consider weight training as a critical element in managing your weight and improving your body composition!