The Importance Of Strength Training
Strength training, resistance training, weight training…whatever you like to call it, it’s something most gym devotees are familiar with - the use of a form of resistance to build the strength of muscles during exercise.
And there’s good reason it’s so popular - The Australian Physical Activity And Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommend that adults do muscle strengthening activities on at least two days each week. To get the best results, it’s a good idea to vary and mix up your training program, say by varying the number of sets, repetitions, intensity of weights or exercises.
It’s not just about the weights
The most common type of strength training involves the use of weights. Even so, there are a number of ways to mix up your exercises while still getting the resistance results.
Try running in water to challenge yourself, or use resistance bands or a TRX band, which are portable and can be integrated into your workouts. Moving while pulling or pushing objects like sleds can really add that extra resistance to your strength workout. You can even use your own body weight as a resistance tool by working against gravity or alternating tempo of your reps – these can provide resistance during moves like squats, push-ups or pull ups.
You can further enhance your strength training with the use of a protein supplement like protein, which help build muscle mass.
How does strength training positively influence health?
The potential physical health benefits of strength training are well known, but here’s a handy little recap in case you need it:
- improved muscle strength and tone
- Improved balance and mobility
- Increased muscle-to-fat ratio (burns calories even after your workout)
- Pain management
- Improved posture
However, the benefits don’t stop there. Strength training can have a whole host of internal benefits, that positively impact your overall wellbeing. As well as helping your body, it can help your inner health and mind. Here’s how you might experience the resistance zen:
- an improved sense of wellbeing – resistance training may assist your self-confidence, body image and help release those feel good hormones
- a restful night’s sleep
- increased self-esteem
- greater stamina – as you grow stronger, you won’t get tired as easily
So, what are you waiting for? With so many benefits, get yourself to the gym, park, pool or anywhere space you can get some resistance training in. Just remember the golden rule of exercise and make sure you take time to warm up and cool down. If you’re not sure, ask a qualified professional to help you out!