Strength Training: We All Need It

By Cori Cameron for ATI Physical Therapy

When you hear the words ‘strength training,’ what comes to mind?  Is it body building, bicep muscles as big as your head and heavy weights?  Or maybe it’s something thatStrength Training: We All Need It only athletes need?  The time has come to change those thoughts!  While it can definitely mean all of those things, it can also mean a lot more.

Regardless of age, athletic ability or weight, everyone should incorporate strength training into their lives.  In one of our past blog posts, Could Walking be the Best Form of Exercise?, strength training was mentioned as one of the best exercises we can ever do and in our bodyweight exercises blog post, we provided links to some exercises that incorporate both cardio and strength training.

Strength training comes in forms such as body weight exercises, resistance tubing, free weights and weight machines and it proves beneficial to everyone.  Even runners, who often choose not to strength train, need to do so.

Here are five reasons to start incorporating strength training into your routine:

  1. Look Great and Feel Even Better – Strength training burns calories more efficiently than a cardio workout.  Pair it with a better diet and you’re on your way to looking and feeling great.
  2. Manage Body Weight – While some tend to tout cardio as the means to lose or maintain body weight, strength training can be more beneficial.  The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest.
  3. Decrease Blood Pressure and Improve Heart Function – Weight training improves heart function, enhances arterial function and decreases inflammation (all of which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease).
  4. Sleep Better – Regular strength training not only helps you fall asleep faster, but improves the quality of your sleep because you tend wake up fewer times throughout the night.
  5. Get Stronger – Along with building muscle, weight training is the best way to build bone mass and density.  By staying strong, you are more resistant to injury and osteoporosis.