Even if you don’t build muscle, improving heart health and lowering blood sugar levels are two effective steps towards making yourself healthier overall.
Strength training is an integral component of building bigger biceps or attaining a tight six-pack, but even if that isn’t your aim, strength preparing could still help you meet your health objectives.
“Many individuals believe that to become bodybuilders, they should avoid resistance training,” according to Michael Rebold, the Director of Integrative Exercise sciences at Hiram College in Ohio. As such, aerobic exercises become their sole source of physical activity – leaving them wondering why they have difficulty making significant improvements in their general health, according to Rebold.
Repold says building muscle requires deliberate and targeted efforts, noting that achieving it happens only with intentional effort and preparation.
Proven Benefits Of Strength Training
Prior to your next workout, consider these 8 science-backed advantages of strength preparing:
- Lower Abdominal Fat
According to a report in Obesity, Harvard researchers conducted 12 years of observation with 10,500 male subjects and found that strength training proved more successful at preventing stomach fat than cardio activity for maintaining abdominal health.
“Adding strength training to one’s exercise schedule helps individuals not only burn more calories but also build lean muscle mass that accelerates metabolism,” according to Rebold. Muscle mass plays an essential role in determining basal metabolic rate – or the daily caloric intake required by your body for essential functions such as breathing.
- Better Cardiovascular Health
Stomach fat (otherwise known as visceral fat) is located around key organs and has been linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Visceral fat has been shown to contribute to CVD because of the release of proteins and chemicals which aggravate existing cardiovascular issues by damaging blood vessels, increasing blood pressure, or creating other cardiovascular issues – thus strength training can certainly aid in decreasing any excessive stomach fat and contributing towards heart health improvement.
Studies published in 2013 in Journal of Applied Physiology reveal that youngsters who regularly strength train have higher HDL, or good cholesterol, levels than their counterparts who never siphon iron. According to Rebold, strength preparing can lower both blood pressure and fatty substance levels similarly to cardiovascular exercise but yields greater benefits in terms of increasing HDL levels.
- Controlled Blood Sugar Levels
Rebold recommends that anyone living with Type 2 diabetes should incorporate strength training into their daily practice. As evidenced in a 2013 survey published in BioMed Research International, strength preparing does more than simply build muscle; its effects also work to increase your muscles’ capacity to take in and process glucose (blood sugar).
Rebold points out that muscle cells contain carriers which transport glucose from your blood into muscle, thus decreasing your blood sugar levels and helping them work effectively to do just that. “These carriers help get significantly more glucose from blood into muscle,” which allows it to work its magic to decrease it overall.
- Reduced Cancer Risk
Visceral Fat May Reduce Cancer Risk Visceral fat not only raises your risk of coronary illness and diabetes, but it has been linked with an increased chance of malignant growth as well. Research published by Oncogene published in 2017 demonstrated that visceral fat cells produce unmeasurable quantities of an FGF2 (fibroblast growth factor-2) protein linked with cancer development.
- Brought Down Injury Risks
At Hoag Orthopedic Institute of Irvine in California, Dr. Adam Rivadeneyra emphasizes the importance of having a solid muscle foundation for proper development, balance, coordination and injury prevention. When muscles are too weak they place added strain on associated ligaments that eventually leads to tendinitis if left neglected for too long.
Strength training also enhances collagen fibril counts in ligaments to build strength and help prevent injury, according to a 2015 survey published by the International Federation of Sports Physical Therapy’s International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy.
- Strengthened Mental Health
Sprinter’s High is widely known, yet strength training may exacerbate symptoms of clinical despondency and anxiety. Exercise-triggered endorphins could play a part in this, but strength preparing also provides an opportunity to tackle barriers more safely in an orderly environment, thus increasing mental flexibility as per Harvard Medical School research.
An investigation published in Frontiers in Psychology journal in 2014 demonstrated that using light burdens that weigh less than 70% of what a single rep can be lifted is the best way to address anxiety impacts.
- Improved Flexibility And Mobility
Now is an opportune time to reassess your stretching routine. Strength exercises should focus on taking joints through their full range of movement during strength sessions; over time this can increase that range further. Studies published in Isokinetic and Exercise Science journal suggest that strength preparing can also aid flexibility development across all populations.
An April 2006 North American Journal of Sports Physical Therapy study suggests that unconventional strength exercises may offer the greatest advantage, increasing hamstring flexibility two times as efficiently as static stretching. Unusual exercises involve any which focus on muscle protracting rather than shortening, such as decreasing period in squat or increasing standards during lat pull-down – Rivadeneyra suggests.
- Elevated Body Image
Exercise may have an impact on body composition and build, yet research from 2013 Journal of Extension analysis of middle-aged and older female participants shows that consistent strength training helps build self-perception and perceived physical appearance beyond its actual effects.
Upgrades in psychological wellness and energy levels, combined with feelings of accomplishment are likely causes for enhanced self-perception, according to analysts.