6 Surprising Benefits of Strength Training

Strength training—also known as resistance or weight training—is designed to improve your muscular fitness by working specific muscle groups against external resistance. Consistently performing strength building exercises has many important benefits aside from just maintaining a healthy bodyweight and increasing muscle strength.

BELOW ARE SIX PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL BENEFITS TO STRENGTH TRAINING.

1. Burn More Calories

Strength training increases your metabolism and can help you burn more calories during and after your workout. Once you finish a workout your metabolism continues to burn extra calories while your body recovers, this is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

2. Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes

Resistance training has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood glucose levels. The more healthy muscle you have, the more efficiently you can transport glucose from your bloodstream without increasing insulin levels.1

3. Relieve Stress

Excess stress can rob you of vitality, joy and overall well-being, yet it is a major part of our lives. Weight lifting has been shown to elevate mood and decrease stress, anxiety and feelings of depression by increasing the production of endorphins, your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters.

4. Strengthen Your Immune System

Consistent moderate-intensity exercise can help boost your immune system and offset chronic inflammation.2 However, over-training can actually reduce your immune response and make you more susceptible to illness and injury.

5. Lower Blood Pressure

Studies have shown that low and moderate-intensity resistance training may reduce blood pressure.3 However, it is important to speak with your doctor if you have high or uncontrolled blood pressure because weight lifting can cause a temporary rise in BP.

6. Sleep Better

Although researchers don’t completely understand why, studies show that exercise can help you fall asleep faster and improves overall sleep quality. With just 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, you could start noticing a difference in sleep quality.4
References:
  1. NCBI: The underappreciated role of muscle in health and disease.
  2. Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine: Is Regular Exercise a Friend or Foe of the Aging Immune System?
  3. AHA Journals: Hypertension.
  4. Johns Hopkins Medicine: Exercising for Better Sleep.
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