Strength training about much more than looking good
Betty Doyling, Fitness
Push-ups, resistance training and dips are examples of strength training.
I love strength training. I’d prefer it many times over cardio. For many, strength training is mainly about aesthetics.
Many want larger biceps, a buff chest or sculpted shoulders. However, muscle size isn’t the only objective for strength training. There are many other improvements with our health that strength training can bring. Let’s look at a few below.
Positive body image
Regular strength training improves body image and personal perception regardless of actual aesthetic outcome. It has also shown improvements in mental health, energy levels, feelings of accomplishment and overall body image.
Improvements in flexibility
Strength training improves flexibility and quality of life in both men and women.
Eccentric exercises, such as raising the bar when doing a lateral pull down or lowering down into a squat, help to lengthen or stretch the muscles.
Try and move your joints through their full range of motion during strength exercises. If you feel limited in your range of motion, take it slowly. You will improve over time.
Lower risk of injury
Training regularly, at least two to three times a week for 30 minutes or more, will provide a good muscle base, which is crucial for balance, movement and co-ordination.
Resistance training helps strengthen muscles and tendons while increasing flexibility of the ligaments and decreasing the risk of one becoming strained or torn.
Improved cardiovascular health
Strength training has been linked to better heart health than aerobic activities.
A recent study by researchers at St George’s University, Grenada, found both types of exercise improve cardiovascular health, but weightlifting was more effective.
It is better, however, to engage in both. Pair a cardio exercise, such as walking, jogging, swimming or cycling with strength training and wait for the results.
So don’t forget your workout this week. If you love cardio, keep going, however, try and include a couple days of strength training in your weekly exercise schedule. Keep on strength training and B-Active For Life!
• Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Check her out on Facebook: facebook.com/B.ActiveForLife