While cardio provides the benefit of calorie burning, improved cardiovascular health and mood enhancement, adding strength training to your workout has its share of benefits. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people 18 or older get a minimum of 2 days of this exercise type per week. Let’s discuss how you could benefit from adding strength training to your regimen.
Burn More Calories
If you want to lose or maintain your current weight, strength training can help. Ultimately, muscle metabolism is more efficient than fat metabolism. Therefore, you burn more calories when you’re at rest after resistance training.
According to research published by the National Institutes of Health, your metabolic rate heightens for possibly 72 hours after a strengthening training workout, allowing you to continue to burn calories even after you put down the weights.
Better Brain Health
While you typically think of brain exercises, such as reading or completing crosswords, as improving your brain health, resistance exercise has a similar effect. Studies indicated cognitive function improvement, including memory, for those who strength train regularly. You may also ward off some cognitive decline through strength training as you direct your focus on this activity.
As you add resistance training to your workout and increase your strength, you can lift heavier items, making daily life easier. You can move your furniture to clean behind it more easily or lift those heavy delivery boxes and carry them to the desired location more comfortably. Even simple tasks, such as carrying groceries from the car, become easier.
Decrease Risk of Injury
Stronger, more toned muscles are more resilient to injury. Through this exercise, you enhance the flexibility of your soft tissue, making them less likely to experience a strain, sprain or other similar injuries during exercise and in general. Through strength training, you provide additional support for your joints susceptible to injury, such as your knees and ankles.
In older individuals, strength training can reduce their risk of falls. The reason stems from the person being able to support their body better.
Improve Bone Strength
While you increase your muscle mass, you also elevate your bone strength. During weight-bearing exercise, you place stress on your bones for a short period. This causes the osteoblasts, your bone-building cells, to do their job, resulting in them rebuilding and strengthening the bones.
By increasing bone strength, you become less vulnerable to fractures and osteoporosis — a condition that causes your bones to become more brittle.
Boost Your Mood
Just as with cardiovascular exercise, you can improve your mood with strength training, notes the National Institutes of Health. For one, you can reduce the prevalence of anxiety and depression.
Through resistance exercises, you can boost your confidence, which will, in return, affect your mood. And even resistance exercise has the ability to stimulate the release of endorphins — “feel good” hormones.