Exercising brings with it endless benefits for one’s overall health. Incorporating elements of strength training as a part of one’s exercise regimen will help one experience the wonders of this form of exercising.
What is strength training? What does it involve?
Popularly known as resistance training, strength training involves performing exercises that increase strength and endurance of the individual doing it. This form of exercise increases muscle, tendon, ligament and bone strength and toughness, improves bone density, improves cardiac function, enhances metabolism and overall fitness.
It is primarily an anaerobic activity that is associated with lifting weights. The basic principles of strength training involves repeated overloading of a group of muscles by lifting and lowering a heavy weight for 4 to 12 consecutive repetitions or until one can no longer continue to do so. The weights so lifted are also progressively increased over time.
What are the benefits of strength training?
With rapid strengthening of muscles, one’s posture becomes straighter. Since there is focus on certain muscle groups, one begins to hold themselves better without even realizing it.
Improvement of bone strength:
Progressive resistance training reduces pain in people at the risk of fracture and improves the overall bone strength. It ensures that there better support for joints and a good strength training programme will increase bone density. With progression of age, bones become more vulnerable to fractures especially around the hips and the spine – strength training ensures that the chances of the same are reduced.
Helps burn calories:
While strength training does not necessarily ensure that you lose a lot of weight quickly, it ensures that you become lean and have stronger muscles. These lean muscles help burn more calories during rest. This is because one will cause small tears to the muscle while strength training and the process of healing will help burn up these calories.
With stronger muscles, there is greater support for one’s ligaments, tendons and bones improving the stability of the body and making it less prone to injury.
This form of exercise, like all others, produces endorphins that improves one’s mood. Improvements in one’s strength and physique will also improve one’s confidence levels.
Increased physical attractiveness:
Developed muscles is an indication of a strong, fit body that is physically attractive according to current societal standards. This societal appreciation can help the individual attain more self-esteem and body cathexis.
Word of caution
While there are numerous benefits associated with this process, use of free weights coupled with uncontrolled movements causes a higher injury risk. The weight lifted is also limited by the sticking point and intense training regimen can cause more muscle soreness. There is also an increase in blood pressure associated with this, as per numerous studies and hence, one must proceed with due care.
Certain safety guidelines must be followed prior to undertaking intensive strength training. Provide adequate time for the muscles to rebuild and repair – work on a different muscle group each day. Advice and supervision of a professional who offers strength training in NYC, especially in the earlier days of the training, can be largely beneficial, preventing any undue injury.