The benefits of bodybuilding and weight training

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Besides the much touted (and frequently Instagram) benefit of adding tone and definition to your muscles, how does strength training help you? Here are some of the many ways:

1. Strength training makes you stronger and fitter

This advantage is obvious, but it should not be overlooked. “Muscle strength is crucial in making things easier for you to do on a daily basis,” says Pire, especially as we get older and naturally start to lose muscle.

Strength training is also called resistance training because it involves strengthening and toning your muscles by contracting them against a resistant force. According to the Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine, there are two types of resistance training:

  • Isometric resistance involves contracting your muscles against a stationary object, such as against the floor during a push-up.
  • Isotonic strength training involves contracting your muscles through a range of motion, such as in weight lifting.

2. Strength training protects bone health and muscle mass

Around age 30, we begin to lose up to 3-5% of lean muscle mass per decade as we age, notes Harvard Health Publishing.

According to a study published in October 2017 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, just 30 minutes twice a week of high intensity resistance and impact training has been shown to improve functional performance, as well as bone density, structure and strength in postmenopausal women with low bone mass. – and it had no negative effect.

Likewise, the HHS physical activity guidelines state that for everyone, muscle-building activities help maintain or increase muscle mass, strength, and power, which are essential for healthy bones, muscles and muscles. joints and muscles as we age.

3. Strength training helps your body burn calories efficiently.

All exercise helps boost your metabolism (the rate at which your resting body burns calories throughout the day).

With both aerobic activity and strength training, your body continues to burn calories after strength training as it returns to its most restful state (in terms of energy exerted). This is a process called “excessive oxygen uptake after exercise,” according to the American Council on Exercise.

But when you do weight training, weight training, or resistance training, your body demands more energy depending on the amount of energy you exercise (meaning the harder you work, the more energy you demand. ). So you can amplify this effect depending on the amount of energy you put into the workout. This means more calories burned during training and more calories burned after training, too, while your body recovers to a state of rest.

4. Strength training helps keep weight off for good

Because strength training increases excess oxygen uptake after exercise, it can also help users increase weight loss more than if you were just to do aerobic exercise alone, Pire says. “[Resistance or strengthening exercise] keeps your metabolism active after exercise, much longer than after aerobic training.

A study published in the journal Obesity in November 2017 found that, compared to dieters who did not exercise and those who only exercised aerobically, dieters who did strength training four times a week for 18 months lost the most fat (about 18 pounds, compared to 10 pounds for non-exercisers). and 16 pounds for aerobic exercise).

You may even be able to further reduce body fat, especially when strength training is paired with calorie reduction through diet. People who did full-body resistance training and diet combined over the course of four months reduced body fat while also improving lean muscle mass better than resistance training or diet alone, one small concluded. study published in January 2018 in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

5. Strength training helps you develop better body mechanics

According to previous research, weight training also benefits your balance, coordination, and posture.

A review, published in Clinical and experimental research on aging in November 2017, found that doing at least one resistance training session per week – done alone or in a program with several different types of workouts – produced up to a 37% increase in muscle strength, an increase in muscle strength 7.5% of muscle mass and a 58% increase in functional capacity (linked to the risk of falling) in frail elderly people.

“Balance depends on the strength of the muscles that hold you upright,” notes Pire. “The stronger these muscles, the better your balance. “

6. Strength training can help with chronic disease management

Studies have shown that strength training can also help relieve symptoms in people with many chronic conditions, including neuromuscular disorders, HIV, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and certain cancers, among others.

For the more than 30 million Americans with type 2 diabetes, weight training along with other healthy lifestyle changes may help improve blood sugar control, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a study published in June 2017 in Diabetes therapy.

And research published in 2019 in Frontiers in Psychology Suggested regular resistance training can also help prevent chronic mobility problems, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

7. Strength training increases energy levels and improves your mood

According to a meta-analysis of 33 clinical trials published in JAMA Psychiatry in June 2018.

“All exercise improves mood because it increases endorphins,” says Pire. But for strength training, additional research that has examined neurochemical and neuromuscular responses to such training offers further evidence that it has a positive effect on the brain, he adds.

And there is some evidence that strength training can also help you sleep better, according to a study published in the January-February 2019 issue of Brazilian Journal of Psychology.

And we all know that a better night’s sleep can go a long way in maintaining mood.

8. Strength training has cardiovascular health benefits

Along with aerobic exercise, muscle building activities help improve blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension and heart disease, according to the HHS.

RELATED: Strength training lowers your risk of heart disease and diabetes, regardless of how much cardio you do


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