Being fit and healthy is one component to happiness and wellbeing. When our bodies are strong we are better able to move, and thus more capable of play and social interaction. A strong social network has been shown to have a number of positive effects, including better health and happiness.
To receive these benefits, our bodies need to be able to move in a variety of ways. Strength training is a great way to achieve and maintain a healthy and strong physique, and has several benefits for both men and women...No ladies, you aren't going to look like a man because you lift weights.
Lifting weights puts on muscle mass. Perfect if you want to lose weight, decrease your body fat percentage, change your shape or simply maintain your current weight. Muscle needs more calories than fat does to properly function, so not only do you burn calories while strength training, you do so for hours afterward.
Increases Bone Density
Strength training puts stress on the bones. This is actually a good thing as it increases bone density, size, and strength, and decreases the likelihood of developing osteoporosis. Having strong bones means you can engage in everyday activities without having to worry.
Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation
Strength training builds both the major muscles and the smaller stabilizer muscles, thereby helping guard your joints from injury. Rebuilding and developing muscle surrounding an injury can help speed up the recovery process and protect against the injury reoccurring. Strength training decreases the chances of falling by up to 40%, by improving flexibility, balance, and coordination. Incredible, right?! Playing sports and roughhousing with the kids requires the use of all the muscles in the body. Don’t let weak muscles prevent you from engaging in the activities you love.
We all want to be the person with their head held high looking confident. Simply holding yourself in this position can create feelings of self-belief, which can lead to greater success and achievement. Lifting weights will inadvertently help build a stronger core because it has to be engaged at all times, which means you will be able to keep your body in an upright position with your stomach in. Building strength in weak muscles and lengthening tight muscles will help get your body into better alignment.
Increases Energy and Boosts Mood
Strength training creates a surge in the body’s endorphin levels, which creates feelings of joy, euphoria, and pleasure, as well as a decrease in pain. Lifting weights can act as an antidepressant, improve sleep, and enhance quality of life. It can also improve mental clarity, focus, and attention. When we are in a good mood, we are more likely to have fun, engage with others, get things done, try new things, and feel less stressed...All of which improve wellbeing.
Reduce and Manage Disease and Chronic Conditions
Strength training can effectively moderate several conditions, such as, depression, osteoporosis, obesity, back pain, arthritis, and diabetes. It can even be as successful as medication in relieving arthritis pain! Being in good health means that we are better able to enjoy life’s pleasures, and thus more likely to be happy and optimistic. This can lead to decreased rates of heart disease, hypertension, and stroke.
To get the best results, a strength training routine needs to be done at least twice per week. Three to four times is ideal. The sessions should incorporate full body movements, such as squats, lunges, pull-ups, press-ups, and planks, and last no longer than 30-45 minutes. There are numerous variations to these exercises to increase or decrease difficulty level. Now get out and build those muscles!