No one would say that cardiovascular exercise did not provide many health benefits. In fact, many people associate cardio to be a central part of their exercise regiment. However, what many people do not recognize is the overall benefits to our health with strength training. Yet, strength training typically takes a back seat to cardio exercise. Recent research is shining new light on how strength training can impact every thing from aging well to balancing hormones.
Convenience is a great motivator when it comes to cardiovascular exercise. Grab your sneakers and head out the door for a run, any time of the day. No need to purchase equipment or a club membership. There’s no commute, to and from the gym, or schedule to adhere to. It’s just plain easier, plus you are building muscle and burning fat. But, this new evidence is going to make it hard to avoid adding strength training to your exercise regiment.
- Strength training maintains good health. Okay, so this one is probably pretty obvious. However, if we dig a bit deeper into the research it tells us that strength protects against disease. Diseases such as cancer, hypertension, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease. And these benefits are found regardless of a person’s weight, too! Strength training brings more oxygen into your body which is one way that waste and toxins are removed.
- Helps to age gracefully. Sarcopenia is a condition that results in lost muscle mass. As we age, this results from our own lack of effort but also from the natural aging process as well. Building strength helps to prevent falls. A study found that just 15-minutes of strength training twice a week was enough to show significant improvement.
- Building strength helps to balance hormones. No need for hormone replacement therapy (HRT), this natural approach stimulates the release of human growth hormone which helps to build muscle and burn fat. It also increases insulin sensitivity, and regulate sex hormones in both men and women.
- Increasing strength keeps you lean. Building muscle helps to burn calories, not only during the workout but up to three days after. Muscle drives fat loss
- Strong body means a strong brain. While scientists don’t fully understand this correlation, studies are consistently demonstrating an improvement in cognitive function with improving strength.
- Becoming stronger can inspire you. A sense of accomplishment and prevailing through a challenge can be enough to transform a person’s life.