5 Good Reasons to Try Strength Training
Staying motivated to do your strength and conditioning training can sometimes be difficult, especially if you only squeeze in those sessions to stay fit for a different activity, such as running or football, which happens to be your real passion (or if you’ve been told to do them by your physio!). But there’s so much more to strength training than simply injury prevention.
Here are five great reasons why you should make more time for strength training…
1 Increased muscle mass
As you get older, you naturally begin to lose both muscle mass and strength. This age-related muscle loss is known as sarcopenia and is a major factor in getting more frail with age. It can start earlier than you realise, too, beginning around the age of 35, when the average person starts to lose one to two per cent of their muscle mass each year. While this might sound scary, there’s something you can do to prevent and slow it… research shows that a regular strength training programme can help to counteract this loss. And the earlier you start, the better!
2 Improved bone strength
Strength training doesn’t only improve your muscle mass and strength, but your bone health, too. Weight-bearing and resistance exercises put temporary stress on your bones, which encourages new bone growth and repair, and in turn greater bone density. So if you want to reduce your risk of osteoporosis, it’s time to start strength training.
3 Improved mobility and flexibility
If you think stretching is the be all and end all for flexibility, think again! Doing a regular strength training programme can also help to improve the range of motion in your joints, leading to greater mobility and flexibility. Research shows that completing the full range of motion for each exercise is best when looking to improve joint flexibility (so, for example, squatting as low as you can).
4 Weight maintenance
While most people believe cardiovascular exercise is the best way to burn fat and maintain a healthy weight, strength training plays a big part, too. That’s because strength training helps to build your muscle mass, which in turn increases your metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn while at rest). In addition, many studies have shown that doing regular strength training helps to decrease abdominal fat, a build-up of which is associated with a greater risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even some cancers.
5 It boosts your mood
So far, we’ve only looked at the physical benefits of a strength and conditioning routine. But the positive effects extend to your mind, too. A whole host of studies have shown that doing strength training has myriad benefits for your mental health, including a reduction in anxiety symptoms, as well as a more positive outlook and better mood regulation. A lot of this could be down to your body’s production of mood-boosting endorphins when you undertake a strength-training session. Definitely something to smile about!
If you need advice on starting a strength training programme, call one of our physiotherapy team at Surrey Physio on 0208 685 6930 to book an appointment, or book online from the top menu.