1 Avoid Muscle Loss
On average adults who do not strength train lose between 2 and 3.5kg of muscle every 10 years. Although cardiovascular exercise is great for fitness it does not prevent loss of skeletal muscle tissue. Only strength training can maintain your overall muscle mass and strength throughout your mid-life years.
2 Avoid Metabolic Rate Reduction.
Muscle is a very active tissue. If you lose it you also suffer a reduction in your resting metabolism. The higher your metabolism, the greater your potential for burning calories, resulting in the perfect weight management system. An adult experiences a 2-5% reduction in metabolic rate every 10 years of life. Because regular strength training prevents muscle loss, it also prevents the accompanying decrease in metabolic rate.
3 Increase Muscle Mass
Most adults do not weight train, so when they do they have to first replace the muscle they have lost through inactivity. The good news is that you can gain around 1.5kg of muscle mass over an eight-week strength-training programme. This is typical for both men and women who do strength exercises for 25 minutes, three days a week.
4 Increase Metabolic Rate.
As you increase your muscle mass you do not only preserve your metabolic rate, you also increase it. Research has shown that for every 1.5kg of muscle increase, resting metabolic rate increases by 7% and your required daily calorie usage by 15%. At rest 0.5kg of muscle requires 35 calories per day for tissue maintenance and during exercise this increases dramatically. Adults who replace muscle through sensible strength training use more calories all day long, thereby reducing the likelihood of weight gain and obesity.
5 Reduce Body Fat.
In 1994 researches found that in just three months of strength training the average adult lost 2kg of body fat, even though the subjects were eating 15% more calories per day. The final result, on average, was the participants had an increase in 1.5kg of muscle, a loss of 2kg of body fat but had increased their calorie intake by an additional 370 calories a day. Beats dieting.
6 Increase Bone Mineral Density.
The effects of progressive resistance exercises are similar for bone tissue as it is for muscle tissue. When an adult weight trains they stimulate the increase in muscle myoproteins, which builds and strengthens the muscle. The same stimulus also increases bone osteoproteins and mineral content. Four months of strength training can significantly increase bone mineral density, helping prevent or control osteoporosis.
7 Improve Glucose Metabolism.
Poor glucose metabolism is associated with adult onset diabetes. Four months of strength training has shown a 23% increase in glucose uptake.
8 Increase In Gastrointestinal Transit Time.
Constipation is one of the most common ailments of modern man and delayed movement of waste has been associated with an increase risk of colon cancer. Research has shown that three months of strength training increased gastrointestinal transit time by as much as 56%.
9 Reduce Resting Blood Pressure.
Blood pressure can rise when performing strength exercises and anyone who has high blood pressure should see their GP before embarking on a strength programme. However a study by Nautilus found that after 2 months of strength training alone, resting blood pressure was reduced significantly. Their study showed that combined strength and aerobic exercise is an even more effective means of improving blood pressure readings.
10 Improved Cholesterol Levels?
This still needs greater research, but a number of studies have shown improved cholesterol levels with only a few weeks of strength training exercises and the improvements seem similar to that of endurance exercises.
11 Reduce Lower Back Pain.
Years of research by the University of Florida Medical School on strength training and back pain concluded that a strong lower back was less likely to be injured than one with weak back muscles. Many studies have shown that lower back patients can significantly reduce their back pain within 10 weeks of specific full range strength training exercises,
12 Reduce Arthritic Pain.
Sensible strength training can ease the pain of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This is good news as most men and women who suffer arthritis need stronger muscles, bones and connective tissue to help them function. If strength training eases the pain as well, that is surely a bonus.
There are the 12 physiological reasons to perform strength exercises. On a more basic level, it is important to understand that proper strength training can have enormous psychological benefits as well. It can make you look better, feel better and function better. Don’t forget that your skeletal muscles serve as the chassis and shock absorbers of your body. Strength training is an effective means of increasing your physical capacity, improving your athletic performance, reducing your risk of injury and improving your confidence and self-esteem.