There are several benefits of incorporating strength training into your workout routine. They range from the micro to the macro levels, or in layman’s terms, across the short-term and long-term. Benefits can be had immediately during your workout and can remain in effect after years of consistent effort. Keep in mind, the key is consistency. We will start our list with one benefit most people won’t realize, yet it’s a huge bonus to performing strength training: your mood and energy.
Performing strength training boosts your mood and your energy levels. Putting your muscular system to use produces endorphins in the brain, which make you feel great. Believe it or not, exercising your body will use stored energy. By the end of the day, you’ll be tired and fall asleep faster. During sleep, your body will heal itself and overall, you will sleep better than if you did not incorporate strength training into your workout.
In the long-term, strength training protects your bones and muscle mass. It’s a fact that after age 40, both men and women lose about 1% of their bone and muscle mass every year. Countless studies have shown strength training slows, stops and even reverses the atrophy of muscle mass and decrease in bone density. On a related note, throwing iron around properly will help prevent diseases and reduce the risk of bone fractures.
Strength training plays two major factors in weight loss. Firstly, the process of training burns calories during and after your workout to feed your body. The “feeding” occurs because it takes more calories to maintain and build muscle than to maintain and store fat. The simplest way to put it is that strength training turns fat into muscle. After you train your body to burn the stored fat and build muscle, eventually your body will need more calories. The increase in calories will simultaneously speed up your metabolism and keep the weight off. The science behind this phenomenon is basic.The more you workout, the more fuel your body needs to maintain its current state. Eating (healthy, of course) more tells your body to create muscle with the nutrients and therefore, the frequency in which you eat increases too. It’s a cycle well worth starting and maintaining for improved overall health.
Speaking of overall health, strength training helps you develop better body mechanics. As long as you take into account every major muscle group including your cardiovascular system and your core, every part of you will improve. Your balance, coordination, flexibility and mobility will be strengthened. Even if you are starting your iron journey later in life than planned, the benefits will still help via correcting the problems and reducing the risk of injuries for the future. Plan ahead and lift iron!