Everybody knows that exercise is good for you, but I find that especially in women, the benefits and importance of resistance training are under-estimated.
Resistance or strength exercise is defined as "the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles."
Some benefits of resistance training include:
- Greater muscular strength, improved muscle tone and appearance and increased muscular endurance (ability to do work for longer).
- Increased lean muscle mass. Muscle burns energy; therefore, increasing your body’s percentage of muscle increases your basal metabolic rate, that is, the amount of energy you burn while doing nothing! This promotes long-term fat loss and helps dieters avoid yoyo dieting.
- The after effects of resistance training, in terms of increased metabolic rate, are greater after resistance training than cardiovascular training, also promoting fat loss.
- Stronger muscles increase performance in a variety of sports
- Helps with the correction and maintenance of posture, leading to better support for joints and helping to prevent injuries.
- Helps to prevent osteoporosis by promoting bone build up. - The benefits of weight training for older people have been confirmed by studies of people who began participating in it even in their 80s and 90s
- Helps to maintain lean body mass, aiding in weight management.
- Helps to develop functional strength levels to assist with activities of daily living.
- Intense exercise increases levels of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, which can help improve mood and counter feelings of depression.