It’s hard to see why I should get myself to the gym at times, but when I think about all the benefits that I know strength training offers (and those that I’ve observed in myself through persistence!), I always put on my gym gear and head over.
- Staying Healthy (Against Disease): Nobody likes the feeling of a stuffy nose or constant coughs, and going to the gym to train can actually help a lot with that! Overall, a healthy diet and active lifestyle strengthens our immune systems so they are better at fighting against disease. And if you have any specific health circumstances, chances are lifting some weights is always beneficial for those too! My grandma has osteoporosis, like many older ladies, but still does gentle exercises at the gym to keep her bones as dense and strong as she can. And for those with diabetes, strength training may help the body’s overall health, including maintenance of proper glucose levels in the bloodstream too.
- Staying Healthy (Mental Mood): Like the runner’s high after a jog, the best strength training programs are followed by release of endorphins and other feel-good molecules. There’s a sense of accomplishment that accompanies the finish of a workout or weight set, and even more when you’re able to lift higher amounts of weight! Also, there are all of those mirrors in the gym for a reason — as you persist in your workout, you will gradually see changes in yourself towards your goal, which is another mood-booster.
- Staying Healthy (Body Weight and Composition): Cardiovascular activity is good for helping you lose weight or maintain a healthy level, but lifting weights is also a great activity for that! The reason is that muscles that are bigger and stronger need more energy to work day by day, so having stronger muscles actually means that you will naturally be burning more calories at rest. While you’re working out, you’ll be raising your metabolism levels in that way.
- Staying Healthy (Coordination and Flexibility): While you may think of body builders as being large and inflexible, not every individual that strength trains is like that. The best strength training programs will not just work on building you up but improving your coordination to give you better balance and flexibility. It helps with posture and overall movement of muscles, whether it’s at the gym or just walking around. Your muscles, tendons, and other body parts will be much less likely to tear or become injured, and your coordination and balance will improve!
As my workout buddies always say when they’re trying to sound wise, “An exercise not done is a benefit unclaimed!”
Photo by: the US. Navy