Three Reasons to stay strong with strength training
Thursday, January 18, 2024
What comes to mind when you think of strength training? A huge bodybuilder lifting massive dumbbells while barely breaking a sweat? While that is one example of strength training, you don’t need to run to a fitness convention to reap the benefits of this type of exercise. (Unless that’s your thing.)
What is strength training?
Strength training, also known as weight training or resistance training, is a type of training that builds your muscles and bones. Strength training is different than walking or cycling. It typically includes exercises like squats, pushups, glute bridges, planks and lunges.
Why should you incorporate strength training into your exercise routine? Here are three good reasons:
Reason #1: Increased mobility
A big concern as we age is our mobility. No one wants to struggle to complete their daily activities or do the things they love. According to the National Institute on Aging, a huge cause of reduced mobility is sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is a decline in muscle mass, strength and function. It has been linked to fatigue, low energy and weakness. You may have heard the saying “use it or lose it.” This applies to many things in life, including our muscles. Strength training is a great way to keep your body engaged, build muscle mass and improve mobility.
Reason #2: Ease chronic conditions
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), strength training reduces the symptoms of common chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease and back pain. Strength training improves each condition differently, including building bone density, strengthening muscles and reducing pain and stiffness.
Reason #3: Improves mental and emotional health
Combining strength training with aerobic exercise like walking or running can significantly improve mental and emotional health. According to the CDC, studies show that exercise helps people sleep better, lessens the length and severity of depression and improves self-confidence.
So, how do you get started?
To begin strength training, figure out your own comfort level. Are you new to strength training or do you have some experience? If you’re worried about your form or how to do a certain movement safely, work with a personal trainer or take a workout class at your local gym. There are free workouts online that can be performed safely at home or at the gym. You should also talk to your Primary Care Physician before starting a new fitness program.
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Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.