The benefits of a good strength training program are almost endless. Less disease, happiness and most importantly, showing off your muscles at the beach.
Strength training should be part of everyone’s routine. Even if you are low on time, strength training, according to the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), only needs to be done 2-3 times per week with each session lasting no more than one hour. For 2-3 hours per week, huge benefits can be realized.
Regular strength training will:
- Help you in day to day activities around the house and in your yard. It will keep you independent which is especially important in the older population. Imagine not being able to lift a 5 pound bag of flour or take the garbage out by yourself.
- Lower the risk of osteoporosis, hypertension and diabetes.
- Help you avoid lower back pain.
- Increase bone density which is important for post menopausal women.
- Increase muscle mass which burns more calories throughout the day than an equal amount of fat.
Even with all these benefits, many people are reluctant to start training with weights. Concerns include injury, incorrect form and for women; not wanting to grow muscles and look like a man.
When beginning your strength training program, the risk of getting hurt can be greatly reduced by starting out with machines rather than free weights. As you become more comfortable with the machines, slowly learn to use free weights. If you want to stick with the machines, know that they will give you the same benefits as free weights. As for the concern that women will look like men, it won’t happen without the help of steroids, which you shouldn’t even consider using.
Sometimes when we think of being healthy, we think of eating and running. While these are important, strength training should never be left out. Strength training provides benefits to your health that cannot be found with any other mode of exercise and shouldn’t be forgotten.