Many people think that resistance training is something that is mainly for young men who play sports or who want to have big muscles. More and more people are starting to recognize that it is also for women who play sports or who may want to get bigger and fit. Yet many still do not realize that everyone can benefit from resistance training.
Resistance training can be done with dumbbells and barbells, weight machines, bodyweight, and other weighted items. Those thinking that anyone who touches a weight will instantly bulk up and look like a bodybuilder need not worry, because gaining that kind of size involves incredible dedication to training and dieting. But there are still many benefits that everyone can gain by even a small amount of resistance training. Studies have shown that even sessions as short as 15 minutes at a time, three times a week are beneficial. And while there are a multitude of benefits I have presented five key benefits of resistance training.
1. Self Esteem
When we look better, we tend to feel better. That feeling is usually not just noticeable in the gym, but in every aspect of life. Other things may not bother you as much because it takes more to bring you down. Clothes fit better, and so you have more confidence when you are out in public. The effects of resistance training coupled with a healthy diet can also enhance your mood in general.
2. Bones and connective tissues:
Resistance training strengthens bones, tendons, and ligaments. When your bones and connective tissues are stronger, you reduce your chances of injury. This is true even among those that are older. Seniors who engage in some form of resistance training have been known to improve balance and bone strength, giving them more independence than their sedentary counterparts. It is also a good way for younger people to fighting the effects of osteoporosis.
3. Blood Pressure
Resistance training can help lower blood pressure for those with high blood pressure, and help to maintain a healthy blood pressure for others. Circuit training, which generally involves higher reps and lower weight, is considered beneficial for this.
4. Body Composition
The body as a whole, like anything else, when all of its parts are added up equal 100% of your weight. When you build your muscles you leave less room for fat. Conversely, when there is more fat, there is usually less muscle. It is also important to remember that muscle weighs more than fat, and so two people weighing the same can have different body compositions. A body containing more muscle than fat is going to have a trimmer appearance than someone of the same weight that is mostly fat.
This one was saved for last because it is the most obvious benefit of resistance training. When you do resistance training your muscles will be overloaded. When they heal, they will be stronger as they adapt to the load of regular resistance training. As you adapt, increase the load and you will continue to build strength. Strengthened muscles can also help you avoid injuries, and decrease recovery time.
The benefits of resistance training are not only for the young who wish to look good or compete in a sport. All people, of all ages, and of all body types can benefit from resistance training at any stage of life, whether they are looking to get stronger, prevent injury, or recover from injury.