What are the benefits of strength training?

There are many health benefits for strength (resistance) training. Not only will you increase the strength of your muscles, but also your tendons, bones, and ligaments. This is why it is very important to continue to do resistance training as we age.
 
Resistance training is a basic component of fitness and wellness and is vital for peak performance in daily activities such as sitting, walking, lifting and carrying objects, and enjoying recreational activities. Resistance training also improves posture, personal appearance, and self-image.

More specifically, resistance training enhances the quality of life in the following ways:
  • It improves balance and restores mobility.
  • It makes lifting and reaching easier.
  • It decreases the risk for injuries and falls.
  • It stresses the bones and preserves bone mineral density, thus decreasing the risk for osteoporosis.
  • It promotes weight loss and maintenance.
  • It improves cholesterol levels.
  • It helps lower blood pressure and controls blood sugar.
  • It increases muscle tone and muscle strength and endurance.
Some of the benefits of resistance training include fuller toned muscles, increased muscular strength and increased metabolism that will constantly burn calories throughout a day. The best way to maintain the benefits above is to work with a fitness expert to work with that can help develop a fitness plan to accomplish daily, monthly and yearly fitness goals. The clearer the fitness plan is the more consistent the benefits will be.
William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
Without engaging in resistance training, most adults lose muscle and gain fat as they age. Between the ages of 20 and 50, the average person loses 1/2 pound of muscle per year and replaces it with up to 1 1/2 pounds of fat. So, she or he loses 15 pounds of muscle and adds as much as 45 pounds of fat. This creeping obesity is often disguised by the shrinking muscle mass. Instead of a weight gain of 45 pounds, the loss of 15 pounds of muscle results in only 30 pounds of weight gain. However, many people gain more fat weight than that gained by the average person. Without resistance exercise training, if you never gain a pound of weight between high school graduation and your 50th birthday, 15 pounds of your lost muscle will have been replaced by 15 pounds of fat. None of this is healthy.
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Research has found that resistance training was as good as stretching for improvement in flexibility. This goes against the myth that larger muscles can make you stiff and less agile. According to study author James R. Whitehead, EdD, "Our results suggest that full-range resistance training regimens can improve flexibility as well as, or perhaps better than, typical static stretching regimens." Resistance training has been repeatedly shown to greatly benefit both men and women at any age. It greatly improves bone strength, which helps prevent osteoporosis, a major concern for women after menopause. Weight training has also been shown to burn more calories faster than low-impact cardio, such as basic walking.
 
Strength/resistance training is an effective method for losing weight, gaining lean muscle mass, losing body fat, toning the body, and improving your physical fitness appearance. The additional lean muscle mass will improve your overall body structure, strength, and repair system, while increasing your metabolism, resulting in more calories consumed.

As we age, some muscular, connective tissue, and bone structure benefits received from strength fitness training are: keeping or increasing muscle mass and helping prevent muscle loss or atrophy, reducing or preventing bone loss, improving posture, stability and balance and maintaining a healthy range of motion and flexibility. Strength training allows us to continue being able to maintain simple movements and tasks (like getting out of a car, walking stairs, cleaning the house/yard) that we take for granted when we’re young, but become harder to do when we are senior citizens.
Strength (resistance) training has many benefits including:
  • decreased body fat
  • increased lean body mass
  • increased bone density
  • increased metabolic efficiency
  • increased strength of muscles, tendons and ligaments
  • increased endurance
Strength training has many benefits including increased bone density, increased fat free mass (muscle), reduced body fat percentage and increased BMR (basal metabolic rate). For every pound of muscle you gain you will burn an additional 50 calories a day. Women, please do not panic about "bulking up" when you gain muscle, this will not happen. Women lack adequate amounts of the hormone testosterone to get large muscles. However, you will gain self-confidence, improve your self-talk, reduce your stress, and feel and look better than ever before.

I know we have all heard that muscle weighs more than fat, that is not true. A pound is a pound whether it is fat or muscle. However, a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. There can be two people, who both weigh the same amount, say 135 pounds, but one person looks considerably smaller, that person has the lower body fat percentage. The goal should be to put on muscle, so you take up less space.
There are many benefits to strength training. Really the best benefit of strength training is an increased BMR. Increasing your BMR will help keep your weight and body fat down easier. The stronger the muscle around a joint the less likely you will injure yourself. Of course as we get older we lose our bone density and this is a good way to help improve that. Of course, lastly, having nice tone muscles doesn't look bad either.
Strength training can provide many great benefits for an individual such as decreased body fat, increased muscle mass (which gives you that nice toned look), improved self-esteem and confidence, improved cardiorespiratory efficiency, increased metabolic efficiency, increased strength of tendons and ligaments, and increased bone density.
Intermountain Healthcare
Administration
Strength training isn't just for body builders, and it won't "bulk you up." More and more people -- of all ages and sizes -- use strength training to tone their bodies, build their strength, and rev up their metabolism. Many studies have shown that strength training helps with weight loss and weight maintenance. Building muscle, while losing fat, helps boost your metabolism -- so your body burns more calories, even when you're resting.
Rose Reisman
Nutrition & Dietetics
Strength training has to do with developing muscle definition, strength, and increasing your metabolic rate. If you lose a lot of weight you need strength training to avoid flabby skin. Other benefits include reducing the risk of osteoporosis and losing body fat. Weight training can increase strength, increase bone density and help to maintain balance in your body.
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There are many benefits!  Here are my top 3. 

  1. Strength training shapes your body and helps you burn fat for weight loss. 
  2. Strength training stabilizes the joints to improve your posture.  My mission is to help people train their bodies tall while strength training!  
  3. Strength training that is functional, like we do at barre3, improves the quality of your movement all day long and not just the time you spend pumping iron.  You will sit better at your desk.  You will pick things up with less risk of injury.  You will hold your children better.  You will move smarter all day long! 
Strength training, done two to three times a week, helps build strong bones and muscles. It makes everyday chores like carrying groceries easier for you. With more muscle, you burn more calories, even at rest. Strength training can also help to prevent weight gain.

What are the main benefits of strength training?

  1. Strength training helps you loose weight by burning calories
  2. Prevents Injuries
  3. Strengthens muscles and bones
  4. Lower bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol levels
  5. Reduces Stress
  6. Aids in helping you to sleep better
  7. Improves your metabolism
  8. Lowers risk for back injury
  9. Helps with self-esteem
  10. Improves Sports Performance
Eric Olsen
Fitness
There are several benefits of strength training. For example:
  • Strength training increases bone density, reducing the risk of fractures. And improved strength reduces the risk of falls as well as the risk that you'll be injured if you do fall.
  • Strength training could well be the most effective exercise for weight loss; you can expend more calories during a vigorous strength workout than during most other activities. Strength training also tends to elevate the core body temperature and metabolism more effectively; thus, even after a workout, your body will continue to expend calories at an elevated rate much longer than it would after many other activities. And adding muscle while losing fat will actually rev up your resting metabolism, making it easier to maintain a healthy body weight; muscle is an active tissue that burns energy even at rest. Fat, on the other hand, more or less just sits there.
  • Strength training may be the most effective way to make favorable changes in your body image and thus self-esteem; by promoting weight loss, toning old muscles, and creating new muscle tissue, strength training will produce gratifying changes in size and shape in just a few weeks of consistent effort.
  • A strong muscle is a more durable muscle; it's less prone to strains and tears or other injuries that can interfere with an active life.
  • Strength training for the total body also helps prevent the injury-inducing muscle strength imbalances that can result from a steady diet of any one type of exercise.
  • Strength training can develop added strength to prevent weaknesses in specific muscles or muscle groups; for example, weak muscles around the knees can result in knee problems; weak abdominal and lower back muscles can increase the risk of low-back pain, an almost epidemic problem in this country.
  • Strength training helps increase endurance, and thus performance, in other recreational activities such as walking, tennis, or golf; a stronger muscle can work at a given level of effort more easily. 
  • Strength training enhances breathing. About a dozen different muscles around the chest, abdomen, and upper back are used in breathing. When these muscles are strengthened through weight training, breathing becomes more efficient and we're less prone to fatigue.
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Strength training keeps you strong by building muscle, improving neural pathways and developing increased bone density.  It also aids in the prevention of many medical disorders like diabetes.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Strength training—whether you use dumbbells, machines, bands, or your own body weight—helps rebuild muscle fibers and increase muscle mass. This won't just make you stronger and give you firmer muscles that you can show off to friends and lovers. It will make you slimmer and healthier, and help you avoid gaining weight as you age. Strength training will build muscle mass that will help you burn calories more efficiently, and even help you burn more calories during rest. This extra muscle can key player when it comes to preventing age-related weight gain.
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Working out with weights does your muscles and your bones good, and it doesn't take a ton of time to make a difference. Strength-training for just 10 minutes three times per week can make you look and feel as much as 2.6 years younger.

There are many benefits of strength training including:

  • Decreased cholesterol
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Increased metabolism
  • Increased muscular strength
  • Increased bone density
  • Reduced body fat
  • Increased muscle size
  • Increased muscular endurance
  • Improved muscular coordination
Repetitive strength training, combined with stretching, is a powerful tool against osteoporosis, heart disease, back pain, and arthritis. It has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of clinical depression and increase feelings of self-efficacy, while improving balance and coordination.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.