I Don’t Want To Get Bulky, So Why Should I Strength Train?
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If you haven’t picked up your dumbbells, kettlebells or resistance bands lately, listen up! Strength training helps improve your body, both inside and out, and is essential (especially as we age). Here are 6 shocking reasons to work with weights this weekend:
It builds stronger bones
Bone tissue is living, and when you exercise it, you strengthen it, which helps prevent osteoporosis. In our 30’s, bone mass generally reaches its maximum level of growth. Then, in our 40’s, it starts to decline and our bone mass starts gradually decreasing. Strength training saves the day because maintains and can even increase our bone mass as we age.
Reduces your risk of getting diabetes
Muscle mass correlates with improved insulin sensitivity. This means you have better glucose control so you can handle carbohydrates better throughout the day and reduce your risk for diabetes. Plus, strength training increases the amount of muscle fibers in your body so you can more easily manage your blood sugar levels.
Recuses your risk of heart disease
Strength training allows extra blood to flow through all of your muscles (including your heart) which helps decrease your risk of heart disease while lowering your blood pressure.
The American Heart Association recommends strength training as a way to reduce your risk of heart disease because it helps you lose visceral fat (fat around the abdomen that surrounds the body’s internal organs) — the most dangerous type when it comes to cardiovascular health.
It makes you happier!
All of those endorphins that will flow through your body after a strength training session will help elevate your mood while reducing anxiety. Next time you’re feeling stressed, try picking up some weights as a de-stressor!
It boosts your metabolism (and makes fat burning easier!)
While we generally associate cardio with weight loss—a 2011 study at Duke University found that cardio alone is the most efficient means of losing weight—, we can’t underestimate the important role that resistance training plays in helping us achieve and maintain a lean physique. The more lean muscle we have on our bodies, the higher our metabolism.
It makes everything easier
…And that’s a fact! You need muscle for everyday activities, whether it’s carrying a few bags of groceries, going up a flight of stairs or picking up a child. And as we age, we start to lose muscle mass, a process I call The Great Decline. Starting around age 30, we lose about 1% of our muscle mass every year, and then that loss starts to accelerate in our 40s and 50s and beyond. We start to lose bone density, our energy gets depleted, and we become more prone to chronic illness. The key to reversing the Great Decline is strength training.
This weekend, make it a goal to strength train…even if it’s just for 10 minutes!