Strength training is very useful not only for those who dream about huge biceps and six-pack abs instead for a beer belly. They are also important for anyone who cares about their health and well-being.
Here are a few benefits of strength training that will convince you that it’s worth popping into the gym at least twice a week.
1. Getting rid of abdominal fat
In a study published in the journal Obesity, Harvard researchers found that strength training was more effective at getting rid of abdominal fat (belly fat) than aerobic exercise. The study involved ten thousand men who were observed for 12 years.
Also, experts concluded that strength training burns fat and increases muscle mass, which can speed up metabolism.
2. Improve cardiovascular health
Strength training helps reduce visceral fat, which has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This type of fat releases certain proteins and hormones that cause inflammation, damaging blood vessels, increasing blood pressure, and eventually leading to heart problems.
So, if you want your “motor” to work great for years to come, start pulling iron in the gym. You can also add aerobic exercise to strength training – it improves endurance and strengthens the heart muscle.
3. Control blood sugar levels
A study by scientists in Austria found that strength training improves the ability of muscles to use glucose, thereby helping to control blood sugar levels.
This is especially important for people with diabetes and those at risk of developing this dangerous disease. Risk factors include heredity, excess body weight, poor diet, etc.
4. Reduce the risk of injury
Strength training is the best way to strengthen your muscles, and strong muscles are very important for balance, coordination, and injury prevention.
Also, weight training increases the number and diameter of collagen fibers in tendons, which protects them from damage. A 2015 review published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy confirms this.
5. Improve mental health
Many people have heard about runner’s euphoria and its ability to lift mood and reduce anxiety. Strength training can also affect our mental state: it relieves anxiety, relieves stress, allows us to release negative emotions, and increases psychological resilience.