While most people think of bodybuilders and athletes when they think about strength training, it turns out that there are a whole host of ways that strength training can benefit your long-term health and well-being. So the next time you start to pass up lifting a few weights at the gym because you don’t think it will contribute to your health goals -- think again. When we work out, we shouldn’t just be exercising for our present selves, we should also be moving and taking care of our bodies for ourselves in decades to come. Here are three long-term benefits of strength training that will ensure that you’re just as strong in thirty years as you are today!
Cardiovascular disease is a real threat, especially in the United States where heart disease is the leading cause of death. But don’t panic yet, strength training can actually decrease your chance of suffering from any cardiovascular-related health problems.
A study conducted on women shows that by incorporating strength training into their weekly routine, their risk of all cardiovascular diseases decreased by 17 percent. This means they have a lower chance of having a heart attack, stroke, angioplasty, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, or just dying from a disease in general. A well-balanced diet and good mental health also play a role in your heart health.
Doing an hour or so of strength training a week is recommended. You could incorporate a few minutes into your daily schedule, or go for a little longer a few times a week. Just do what works best for you!
Reduced Risk of Diabetes
Diabetes, like heart disease, is rampant in the United States and many other countries. Over 10 percent of the American population has been diagnosed with diabetes, and the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation predicts that millions of Americans have undiagnosed diabetes not to mention millions who have pre-diabetes. Luckily, regular exercise can have a tremendously positive impact for those who are suffering.
Studies have found that individuals doing resistance training were 30 percent less likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The reasoning behind this is simple, greater lean muscle mass creates a healthier metabolism and can help prevent diabetes. Regular full-body strength training is specifically the best for growing muscle to reduce the risk of diabetes.
Diabetes management can be found through many types of exercise including strength training and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training. Even regular strenuous walks can make a big impact. While there’s been a historical focus on steady state aerobic exercise for those dealing with diabetes, strength training and HIIT training have actually shown to be the most beneficial. They help by improving insulin sensitivity, glucose metabolism, glucose tolerance, weight loss and an increased general sense of well-being.
It’s recommended that individuals do “compound, multiple-joint exercises” instead of “single-joint, isolation type movements”. The more body parts and large muscles included the better. One of our favorites at COMMITTED HP is the resistance band thruster (squat to press).
Not everyone wants to live forever, but who wants to pass up a better health span? What’s health span you ask? Health span is the number of years you stay healthy versus just the number of years you stay alive. So, longevity isn’t just about your lifespan, it’s also about how you feel, move and function as you age. Strength training for adult adults is particularly helpful in extending health span.
As we age, the chance of falling, becoming frail, or suffering from a disability or chronic pain increases because elderly people have less muscle mass, strength and coordination than they used to. Strength training helps improve all of that. By incorporating strength-focused exercise in your daily routine, you can age more gracefully, keep your bone density levels healthy, and maintain your independence.
Even if you aren’t old now, exercising for the future is imperative. In the end, it only takes up a small sliver of your week, but will make a lifetime of a difference!
Today is the Best Day to Start!
Being strong is an incredible feeling, but it will feel even better as the years go by and you know you have your strength and vitality to keep you disease free and thriving. Have fun finding what strength training suits you and your lifestyle best and make a habit of it. Who knows, you might even enjoy yourself!