5 ways strength training can improve your body
A healthy lifestyle should include regular exercise, but you may be missing out if all your favorite exercises are of the aerobic variety. Strength training can provide a host of benefits that other exercises might not.
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Experts agree that the key to a better quality of life is daily exercise, especially strength training. “Engaging in 30 minutes of weight training, aerobics, swimming, yoga, even a walk around the park can prevent the onset of high blood pressure, weight gain, arthritis, and depression.” said Lito Ortiz, rehabilitation director at Brookfield Healthcare Center. Here are five things strength training can do for your body.
Strengthen your bones
Strength training builds strong muscles, but it can also help build bone strength. Bone mass can begin to decrease after age 40, which makes it easier for them to break. Exercising using weights can not only slow this bone loss, but it can help build up bones as well. Putting stress on bones encourages bone growth and helps build more dense bones. Not only does this exercise help your bones, but it often targets the bones that are most likely to get injured, such as the hips.
One of the more obvious benefits of strength training is building muscle. The size of the muscles you achieve is up to you, but working on them at all can yield lasting benefits. As you age, you will naturally lose some strength and muscle mass. Strength training is the best way to fight the loss of strength over time.
Strength training exercises can do more than build muscles. It can also help you drop some pounds and maintain a healthy weight. Strength training increases lean body mass, which boosts the metabolism. A higher metabolism helps your body to continue to burn calories even at rest.
Bring balance to your life
Training with weights serves a dual purpose of helping you to pick up heavy objects and improving your physical balance. As you age, it is easier to lose your balance and fall, leading to serious injuries. Improving your balance can help prevent trips and falls. Working with weights also helps to keep your whole body fit and reduce your chances of getting injured.
Improve your heart health
It’s no secret that exercise is good for your health. It may be a surprise, however, that strength training provides some heart benefits of its own. Some strength training has been shown to help lower blood pressure over time. The American Heart Association recommends both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities every week as part of an overall healthy lifestyle to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and keep hearts healthy.
Strength training is an important part of an effective workout routine. Even if you don’t enjoy lifting barbells, you can find a way to build muscle using weight or resistance. Do some pushups, situps, squats, or deadlifts to help build up your muscles and promote overall wellness.
Amy Osmond Cook is the executive director of the Orange County-based Association of Skilled Nursing Providers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about best practices in senior care. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.