10 Reasons Why Strength Training is Important

By Michelle Durante, HeartCORE Program Manager

There are numerous benefits to regular strength training, I’m going to outline 10 reasons why you should be strength training. Many people are focused on becoming more active but don’t know why it is important to have a balance of cardiovascular training and strength training in their exercise routine.

Reason #1: Build Muscle
Strength training is focused on increasing muscle and improving flexibility. Muscle loss is a natural aspect of aging; on average we lose 2-3% of our muscle mass at the age of 30, this is known as sarcopenia. With regular strength training we are able to combat the effects of sarcopenia and reduce the loss of muscle mass and maintain our strength as we age.

Reason #2: Prevent Injury
Strength training in a safe environment is a key aspect of injury prevention. Many injuries occur to our muscles, ligaments and tendons (connective tissues that hold bones and muscles together); when these tissues are weak there is an increased risk for injury. Studies have shown with regular strength training we can reduce our risk for injury to muscles, ligaments and tendons. Strength training has also been shown to improve flexibility and balance when exercise is performed through a full range of motion. With increased flexibility and balance we are better able to handle the obstacles we may face during our daily activities.

Reason #3: Get Stronger Bones
Regular strength training is a key component to bone health at any age. Strength training not only improves bone density it also improves muscle strength, balance and coordination, which are important for reducing falls. Osteoporosis is identified by a decrease in bone mass and often affects seniors. It is increasingly important for those at risk of Osteoporosis to perform regular supervised strength training.

Reason#4: Increase Productivity
Numerous studies have shown that regular exercise, including strength training, can increase your productivity. When you add exercise to your routine you are boosting the blood flow through the body, which increases the flow of blood to the brain, which increases your alertness, focus and can improve your job performance. As a result of increased blood flow, you body is better able to transfer glucose and oxygen to your brain and body, which results in increased energy levels.

Reason#5: Boost Mood
We have known for a while that exercise has many positive impacts on your health, but did you know that it can boost your mood and increase your feeling of well-being as well? Well it’s true during exercise and after exercise you release mood boosting hormones known as endorphins, which will boost your mood after an exercise session. So even when you don’t feel like it, a small bout of exercise, especially strength training can help boost your mood and increase your energy!

Reason #6: Protect the Heart
When you thinking of exercise for the heart what do you think of? Many people first think of cardio, while that is a good way to exercise the heart strength training is a great tool that is often forgotten or underutilized. Studies have shown that strength training can play a role in preventing heart disease or help reduce risk in those with heart disease. Research shows that strength training can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, boosting heart health.

Reason#7: Cut down your risk of disease
There are more than just physical benefits of strength training; one of the great benefits is that it can reduce your risk of disease such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, hypertension, etc. With increased strength your body is better able to stay healthy and strong. As I mentioned before strength training increases bone strength, keeps your heart healthy and strong, can help regulate blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood glucose. All of these positive benefits are important for preventing disease.

Reason #8: Workout your Brain
Multiple studies have linked strength training to healthy brain aging. A study was completed in Australia that compared the use of strength training, brain games and a stretching program; the results showed that as people became stronger their brain health improved. Specifically memory can be improved in those who have an onset of dementia or mild cognitive memory impairment. Exercise is a great way to boost blood flow which increases chemical in the brain that promotes health.

Reason #9: Stress Relief
Stresses of daily life getting to you? Everyone has stress in their life and it can be overwhelming at times. Fortunately research shows that strength training can help you combat the feeling of stress. Those who regularly strength train tend to have lower levels of stress hormones circulating, such as cortisol, compared to those who were regularly sedentary.

Reason #10: Improve Sleep
Many of us today have suffered from restless or sleepless nights, and often we try many herbal or natural remedies to help us catch a few extra ZZZ’s. Studies have shown that regular strength training can help improve your nights sleep. Exercise has an impact on our hormones, such as cortisol & dopamine, which can impact our sleep cycle. With regular exercise our bodies are better able to regular our hormones, resulting in better sleep.

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HeartCORE is a high-intensity resistance training program that involves 15-minute appointments, up to three times per week, as part of your physical activity program. Our main goal during each and every appointment is to bring all major muscle groups to the point of maximal effort, which requires between 48 hours and a full week to recover.  This allows for optimal muscle growth.

The HeartCORE program is based on and adapted from the book “Body By Science” by authors, John Little and Dr. Doug McGuff.  Backed by extensive research, they prescribe a high-intensity, 12 minute workout for increasing strength, metabolism, and building muscle.  This type of program is suitable for many ages and fitness levels as the routine is performed with slow, controlled movements.

At every session, clients are accompanied by an experienced personal energy coach.  The coaches remain nearby throughout the session and are always eager to provide support and encouragement.

Performing circuit training to maximum muscle fatigue eliminates the need to do multiple sets and sessions per week. Building muscle mass boosts metabolism which results in calorie burn for several hours after exercise has been completed. Small weight increments ensure safe and effective progression for all fitness levels.

During your intake appointment, our Certified Exercise Physiologist, will create program recommendations based on your goals.

Book an intake appointment today!

HeartCORE is located at Heart Niagara. The address is 4635B Queen Street in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  For more information call 905-358-5552 ext.109, email heartcore@heartniagara.com or visit heartniagara.com.

 

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