Get healthier and stronger through strength training

November 12, 2012

Get healthier and stronger through strength training

In order to develop and maintain a healthy level of fitness, strength training should be integrated into your general fitness routine. Although strength training is often considered a male thing, it actually has many benefits, which everyone can profit from. Strength training will increase your muscle mass, reduce fat and help your body to burn calories more efficiently. The best fitness routine should combine aerobic workouts with strength training. If you are not using your muscle mass an adequate amount of time, then it will slowly start to diminish causing the percentage of fat in your body to increase. This process is accelerated with age, which is why it is important for people of all ages to have a proper and well-balanced fitness program. You should work out using strength training at least enough that the muscle you lose is being replaced. In other words, use it or lose it! Strength training has a number of other benefits as well as preserving and enhancing muscle mass. It can also help to strengthen bones by increasing bone density, which can reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. Strength training also gives you better control over your weight. By gaining and toning muscle, your body will work more efficiently at burning calories, resulting in more weight loss. The risk of injury is lessened when you build up muscle around the joints as it protects them and also helps to improve your balance. Additionally, your stamina will increase giving you more energy and allowing you to work out for longer before succumbing to fatigue. There are a number of ways that strength training is thought to aid mental abilities and reduce symptoms of physical conditions. Research has suggested that attention to detail and the ability to focus can be greatly improved through strength training, particularly in older adults. The symptoms of chronic conditions including diabetes, arthritis, obesity and even depression are though to be reduced via this kind of exercise also.

Depending on where you prefer to work out, strength training could take place either in the gym or at home. Equipment isn’t always required as there are many exercises you can do without it. For example, leg squats are a great and efficient exercise and there are also pull-ups, push-ups and abdominal crunches. Using free weights such as barbells and dumbbells are still one of the best methods for strength training. If you are training in the gym, weight machines are a great resistance workout and you can also invest in them to use in the home if you so desire.

You should check your general fitness with a doctor before starting strength training and when you get the go ahead start slowly so that you don’t over do it. Always begin by warming up either by stretching or some gentle aerobic exercise such as fast walking. Then begin strength training using a weight, which makes your muscle feel tired by the 12th repetition, According to Dr. Laskowski, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, “On the 12th repetition, you should be just barely able to finish the motion.” Make sure you rest for a full day between working out each muscle group and increase the weight you are using when 12 repetitions become to easy. Always increase the weight, not the number of repetitions to efficiently build muscle tone and mass and stop if you feel any pain. Two or three strength training workouts a week of approximately half an hour should be enough for most people to start noticing the results. Strength training cannot only aid your physical health but also your emotional health so start today for a happier, healthier lifestyle.

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