Maybe you wanted to lose some weight. Maybe you just wanted to tone up. And just maybe you wanted to be able to go for long runs. So you went to the gym and spent an hour or more on the treadmill…and/or the elliptical…and/or the stepper. And you’re proud of yourself because you’ve been sticking to your healthy meal plan. But all is not right…the weight’s just not dropping as you thought, or you’re having trouble completing your running because of nagging injuries. And you rack your brain, maybe blame your genetics for having a “slow” metabolism. But truth be told, maybe you’re missing something critical…like strength training.
Don’t equate strength training with bodybuilding. Pretty much everybody could benefit from regular strength training, in terms of more energy, less stress, and better sleep. Wanna know the reasons why? Here are 9 reasons why you should be strength training.
1) Stay injury free–Strength training is absolutely critical to preventing injury. Not only will you be strengthening muscles, but tendons and ligaments as well (tendons connect muscle-to-bone and allow for flexibility while ligaments connect bone-to-bone and provide stability). This means you will be less likely to sustain injuries in normal, everyday activities.
2) Speed up your metabolism–After you start strength training, you’ll begin to notice an increase in your resting metabolic rate. Coupled with proper eating, routine strength training may help you to lose weight more effectively than just cardio alone.
3) Improve flexibility–Some research studies indicate that moderate strength training does indeed help to improve flexibility.
4) Increase muscle–There is a lifting regimen that will deliver optimal results no matter if your goal is to lose weight or get stronger. This is much more critical as we get older, since strength training can help fight the natural decline in muscle and bone density that accommodates aging.
5) Strength training can be performed anywhere–This one should not come as a shock–you do not need a gym membership for strength training! There are numerous ways to start building strength at home, which also does not have to include weights or equipment. You can get a very challenging program just from bodyweight exercises.
6) Strengthen your bones--If you thought drinking milk was the only way to get strong bones, think again. Strength training will help bones get stronger, which can lessen your chances of fractures and, later in life, osteoporosis.
7) Get started on power–Do you have a desire to jump higher? How about to sprint faster? Strength training can work fast-twitch muscles, the muscle fibers used for generating power. You may just surprise yourself next time you play tennis, tee off in golf, or jump for a rebound in basketball.
8) See results quickly–You may be pleasantly surprised with how fast you can see results of strength training. Just starting out with 2-3 sessions/week can start yielding noticeable results in less than a month. What’s that? You have no desire to bench press 250 pounds? No problem…you can get an effective workout and build muscle lifting lighter weights (as long as you’re still causing the muscle to fatigue).
9) Get smarter in the process–Well, whatd’ya know? As it turns out, reading and studying are not the only ways to stimulate your brain! While any exercise can help keep your brain healthy, studies found that strength training resulted in better cognitive functioning in older adults.
There you have it. No excuses for why now is not the time to begin strength training. And as always, if you or someone you know has questions on how to get started with a strength training program, don’t wait to take action. Call my office at once at (302)691-9055 or visit my website at www.wildermanphysicaltherapy.com to schedule your FREE 30 minute consultation to see how Physical Therapy can help. Don’t delay–schedule now!