Have you ever felt too tired to go work out, go for a walk, or engage in some form of exercise? We all have. But research has found some pretty amazing benefits of exercise—especially strength training—that we think will get you excited to turn off the TV and leave the couch.
We all want to feel well—both physically and mentally. Did you know that an exercise routine that incorporates strength training can help with both?
It’s true! In fact, strength training will help people of any age enhance and preserve muscle mass. Why is muscle mass important? We explain!
Studies have found that people with a lower muscle mass are more prone to sickness and take longer to recover from diseases or injuries. Building muscle mass helps provide better immunity.
Studies have also found that patients with a higher muscle mass had a lower mortality risk from heart disease or heart attacks.
Increased muscle mass helps combat against type 2 diabetes, as lower muscle mass has been linked to insulin resistance.
Building muscle also helps fight obesity, as the more muscle we have the more we boost our metabolism.
One of the things that many people battle as they grow older is osteoporosis—a thinning of the bones. That’s why older people have more of a propensity to break bones when they fall. Having greater muscle mass can protect against this because the more work our bones do—by carrying heavy loads such as weights—the stronger they become. This is great news for people of all ages!
Further, strength training helps improve mental health, as it naturally increases three essential hormones: dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin. Let’s take a look at the role these play in our bodies and why it’s important to maintain good levels of each.
Dopamine is the hormone that regulates motivation and pleasure. The higher the dopamine, the better. Studies have found that repeated activities, such as exercise, will increase our dopamine levels. This is especially important as we enter the winter months where many people tend to battle things like seasonal affective disorder or depression because of the shorter days and fewer daylight hours.
Noradrenaline is a hormone produced and released by the adrenal glands. Low levels are linked to depression and anxiety. When people partake in high-intensity exercises, such as strength training, the levels of noradrenaline increase, which then leads to greater energy levels.
Finally, exercise increases the levels of serotonin in our bodies. Serotonin helps regulate mood and emotions. When we have the proper levels of serotonin in our bodies, we are less prone to experience sadness and anxiety and experience positive emotions instead. This finding was discussed in an article in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine that explained that “resistance training is a meaningful intervention for people suffering from anxiety.”
Researchers have also found that resistance training has been shown to improve several aspects of cognition and memory in healthy older adults.
So what is the best way to start a strength training regimen?
Before beginning anything new, especially if you have had injuries or health concerns, talk with your doctor. But if you’re ready to start this journey, start slowly so you don’t tear or pull a muscle.
If you visit an F45 gym and you need help learning which weights are right for you, just ask the staff of certified personal trainers.
Strength training is vital to our overall health, and when we keep all of these benefits in mind and motivate ourselves to start a healthy routine, we will not only see the difference it makes in our lives, we will feel it.
By: Susan Ciancio