10 Health Benefits of Strength Training That Doesn't Rely on Building Muscle Size
10 Health Benefits or Gym Strength Training that Everyone Can Benefit from
Resistance training, strength and weight training doesn't just improve muscle strength and muscle mass it also comes with a huge range of other health benefits.
In this article we will look at the Benefits of Weight Training that has nothing to do with you building your muscle mass.
Everybody loves muscles! Well probably most people. but if you're not trying to get bigger or bulk up are there benefits that can be gained from building strength with weight lifting.
What exactly is strength training?
Weight lifting or Strength training is the act of repeatedly lifting weights in controlled movements to exercise your muscles.
Although people have been trying to improve their self's for almost as long as history goes, the modern form of resistance training and Bodybuilding was "developed in the late 19th century, promoted in England by German Eugen Sandow" - Wiki - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodybuilding
Eugen Shadow is known as the "Father of bodybuilding"
Bodybuilding has a range of benefits and it can be varied to get whatever exercise you require from it. For instance
Higher repetitions with lower weight is great for Cardio Training, whilst for Muscle Mass building it's Higher Weight with lower repetitions.
Let's take a closer look at the benefits of this exercise style and see why it bring a range of other health benefits.
1: Improved Cardiovascular Health
High levels of Abdominal or Visceral fat which is located in and around the vital organs like the liver, intestines, kidneys, pancreas and adrenal glands, can cause long term health complications,
Excess abdominal fat has been linked to CVD because it produces certain proteins and hormones that promote an inflammatory response. In fact, this inflammation has been shown to damage blood vessels and increase blood pressure levels leading to problems with heart health.
Strength training and aerobic exercise is a great way to prevent or reduce excess abdominal fat because it works by increasing your metabolism while reducing excess calorie intake which will ultimately lead to weight loss over time!
Various medical studies have found the people who regularly undertake strength training whether at a Gym or at Home, have better cholesterol level with improved levels of the good HDL cholesterol compared with purely undertaking Cardio Workouts
Hence reducing your Visceral fat levels in the human body and help its cardiovascular efficiency.
2: Reduced Abdominal Fat
We all know how difficult it can be to maintain a healthy weight. And with so many unhealthy diets out there, it's never been more challenging to do so.
Abdominal Fat also known as Belly Fat, can be one of the easiest fats to gain and one of the hardest to loose, that's why its become known as the stubborn belly fat.
The Abdomen is also one of the most unhealthy area's to have excess levels of fat, as it surrounds a lot of your internal organs, rather than being deposited around muscles and skin.
The good news is that Certain Diets like the Keto diet can work wonders with Belly Fat, The other good news is that recent studies in the research journal found that strength training combined with Cardio is much better at helping keep those troublesome love handles at bay compared to cardiovascular exercise alone. This Research that was undertaken by Harvard University found that.
"When people incorporate strength training into their exercise routine, they not only burn calories, but increase lean muscle mass, which stimulates the metabolism" - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.20949
3: Lowered Cancer Risk
Visceral fat, also known as belly fat, is similar to regular fat but has one distinct feature.
Unlike regular fat that exists beneath the skin in the subcutaneous tissue, visceral fat is located inside the abdominal cavity and surrounds vital organs such as your liver and intestines.
One of the biggest risk factors associated with visceral fat is an increased potential for cancer because it's directly surrounding crucial organs that are meant to be undamaged by abnormal growths.
Research from Oncogene, a journal published in 2017 shows that FGF2 levels (a protein), which can be found high in number within visceral adipose (fat cells), causes cellular transformation.
This transforming process leads to tumour growth when left unchecked by treatment methods like chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
By undertaking resistance training and weight loss, you can increase your metabolism higher than just undertaking cardio training alone, the increased Metabolic rate with regular exercise can help to radically reduce your visceral fat levels and reduce the risk of certain cancers.
"On analysing the fat cells, they discovered that visceral fat releases a protein called 'fibroblast growth factor-2' (FGF2), which then stimulates the growth of epithelial cells, which can turn malignant (cancerous)" https://www.ashteadhospital.co.uk/news/belly-fat-linked-to-cancer - Ashtead Hospital - 09/20/17
4: Improved Mental Health
The mental health benefits of working out are widely publicised, its even got a catchey name "Runner's High" and it can be said that all forms of exercise can help improve your mood and energy levels, whilst also helping you to relax.
Strength training is no different, infact lifting weights, like many other intense workouts can help you with relieving the symptoms of clinical depression and anxiety.
This is because resistance training exercise triggers your body to release endorphins which are produced in your brain by the release of various neurotransmitters like dopamine.
Endorphins are part of your bodies reward hormone response, and endorphins provide both pain releaving qualities as well as relaxation and mood altering qualities which give you a feeling of happiness.
By including more strengh training into your workout, you wont just expieience improve mental wellbeing, but you can also expierence improved muscle development as well as strengthening bones, joints and tendons which may lead to higher bone density for a number of other health benefits.
5: Improved Joint Flexibility
Flexibility training is something that most people don’t really understand what the big deal is. But have you ever stopped to wonder why flexibility training seems to be so important to maintain joint health and avoid injury or having your movement range slip away over time?
The simple answer is muscle elasticity is affected by age, disease and genetics. So the less active someone is the more they become prone to developing health issues years down the road - especially as they get older!
According to a 2006 study published in the North American Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, eccentric strength workouts are much more effective than static stretching when it comes to enhancing hamstring flexibility.
Although both types of workout routines are good for increasing flexibility, they differ in the way they accomplish this goal: Static stretching primarily stretches contracted muscles, while eccentric training focuses on elongating muscles.
An eccentric strengthening program can be completed during various weight lifting exercises or by lowering yourself down into a squat or raising the weight when you're doing lat pull-downs.
As such undertaking weight resistance exercises can actually help you to stretch and maintain your joint health and flexibility.
6: Reduced Risk of Injury
Having a good strong core, can go a long way to a healthy life with less chance of injury, ultimately our joints and bones are held together and in place with a combination of ligaments and muscles.
By improving the strength through resistance training and improving the flexibility of these muscles we can help reduce our chances of injury, when undertaking everyday tasks or engaging in sporting events.
In addition, strength training increases the diameter of collagen fibrils in tendons to increase their strength and help prevent injuries. This happens because you have more collagen fibrils to be subsequently dispersed during physical activity leading to an increase in tendon strength.
7: Better Body Confidence
You tend to think of exercise as changing your body composition or transforming the way your muscles look, but some research has shown that weight lifting actually impacts what you see when you look at yourself in the mirror. #
For example, a study of middle-aged and older women published in 2013 on an optional extension network site found that several weeks of consistent strength training can improve not only how you feel about your body but also how you perceive it.
According to researchers, some of the benefits of exercising include improvements in mental health, energy levels and overall body image whilst intensifying a person's awareness of their own physical capabilities.
8: Improved Brain Health
Power lifting is truly an sport that can boost one’s ability to focus and concentrate by increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain. Some studies indicate that there is a strong correlation between being physically fit and reasoning skills because complex tasks require consistent processing that allows an individual to be more productive at what they do.
A study done in 2016 proved that working out your body and undertaking resistance training on a regular basis is good for the health of your mind. 55-86 year old participants who did twice weekly weight training exercises not only showed physical improvements, but their cognitive ability also improved by approximately 12% as opposed to the 6.5% of people who did stretching work out every day.
9: Beneficial in Osteoporosis Treatment
It’s important for both men and women to stay as healthy and active as possible, as a strong body translates into a strong mind. To keep yourself from suffering from osteoporosis or broken bones, studies suggest that weight-bearing exercises which includes anything that involves standing up like running or walking or weight training are key when it comes to strengthening one’s bones.
The Human body is constantly repairing minor injuries in our muscles and this also translates to our bones. Every time a muscle contracts, it pulls on the bones it's attached to, stimulating the cells within the bone to produce proteins which in turn create more bone. This process is known as strain-induced bone accretion which intern leads to strengthen the bone at that location.
For people suffering bones weakening conditions like osteoporosis resistance training and weight assisted exercises like bending or squats can help to improved bones strength.
10: A Longer and More Fulfilled Life
One of strength training's many benefits include a longer, healthier life especially when including aerobic exercise. Doctors have found that the measure of grip strength is more accurate in predicting death than any other single test they've ever performed.
Another report confirmed by doctors concluded that muscle strength might be a better predictor of one's overall health than BMI (body mass index), a much-used formula which is inaccurate and rarely used correctly anyway as it underestimates muscle mass and thus tends to give healthy people who have more muscle that most others an unhealthy appearance.
Consider a personal trainer
If you need more advise or are having trouble sticking to your exercise and fitness goals why not consider getting a personal trainer which can dramatically help you meet your fitness goals whether that be reducing body fat, increasing lean muscle mass, improving muscle growth or improving your strength training outcomes.
Why not check out our range of Free Weights we have for sale at the Home Fitness Store to meat your Fitness Goals helping you stick to that all important resistance training program.
We provide a large range of Dumbbells for use with resistance training
Dumbbells are the swiss army knife of the gym, their balanced design gives great flexibility in their use allowing you to undertake a range of exercises.
They work greatly with the assistance of a gym bench so be sure to check out our selection of benches as well.
Buying your set of Dumbbells can seem expensive at first, but its the one bit of equipment your going to use every session and a good set of Dumbbells will last a lifetime.
Dumbbell Weights give the following benefits
- Versatile Range of Exercise's
- Balanced in the Hand
- Great for Chest, Arms, Legs, Core
- Builds Lower, Upper & Core Strength
- Improves Grip Strength
- Exercises include Lunges, Flys, Chest Press, Arm Curls, Hammer Curls, Skull-Crushers, Shoulder Press, Wrist Curl, Shrugs, Calf Raise
We provide a large range of Kettlebells for strength training
Kettlebells are a great addition to any gym, they can be used for rapid movements like Snatches or used to add weight to exercises like Shrugs.
They are great for exercises involving two hands on one weight such as through the leg exercises.
Kettlebells give the following benefits
- Great for Rapid Movements
- Can be used for Incline Press-ups
- Builds Grip and Wrist Strength
- Good for two Hand one Weight setups
- Exercises include Lunges, Hammer Curls, Skull-Crushers, Wrist Curl, Shrugs, Incline Press-ups, Squats, Calf Raise
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