Benefits Derived from Weight Training

Benefits Derived from Weight Training

benefits from weight training

There are several health and fitness benefits associated with weight training. While many individuals typically think of weight training as simply building lean muscle tissue and improving muscular strength, there are countless additional health benefits associated with this exercise type.

In fact, it is our belief at Fitnesshealth101.com that all well-rounded fitness programs should include regularly performing some form of strength training..

There are seven key fitness components associated with living a lifestyle that is filled with good health and fitness.

Each of the key fitness components promotes good health and creates a synergy, when combined with the other components, to provide a comprehensive approach to good health, fitness and mental well-being. Below is a list of the seven fundamental fitness components:

  1. Cardiovascular/Aerobic Conditioning

  2. Strength Training and Muscular Development

  3. Stretching – Muscles, Ligaments and Tendons

  4. Core Stability

  5. Nutrition and Supplementation

  6. Mental Rest and Relaxation

  7. Sleep

As is evident from the list of the seven key aspects of good health, strength training and muscular development play a key role in achieving good health and fitness. The best approach is to embrace a lifestyle that includes all seven fundamental fitness components. By doing so, you will ensure that you are providing your body and mind with the physical and mental activities and nutrients that it requires to perform optimally.

In addition, depending on the form of strength training that you choose and the pace at which you perform the exercise routine, your strength training program may facilitate achieving four of the seven fundamental key fitness components: aerobic conditioning, strength and muscular development, stretching of muscles, ligaments and tendons, and development of core stability.

While the term weight training may imply exercising with free weights and/or circuit weight training machines, there are several forms of strength training that promote increases in strength and lean muscle mass. Below is a list of strength training exercise types that focus on increasing muscular strength and developing lean muscle tissue:

Benefits of Weight Training

    weight training triceps exercise

  • Promotes Safe and Effective Weight Loss: Regularly performing a weight training routine increases your basal metabolic rate. As a result, your body will burn a higher number of calories per day, even while you sleep.

    The reason for this increase in basal metabolic rate is that muscle is denser by volume than fat, and requires additional calories to be burned for support.

  • Reverses the Natural Decrease in Basal Metabolic Rate: An individual’s basal metabolic rate typically begins to decrease once they reach the age of 30. Increasing your lean muscle mass through regularly performing a strength training routine can reverse the decrease in your Basal Metabolic Rate as more calories are required to be burned to support lean muscle tissue than fat tissue. For this reason, weight training is an excellent addition to anyone’s weight loss program.

  • Increases Daily Energy, Stamina and Endurance Levels: Regularly performing a weight training exercise routine forces the cardiovascular system to circulate more oxygen and blood throughout the body to support the physical exercises that are being performed. This will increase the efficiency of the cardiovascular system. As you strengthen your lean muscle tissue and cardiovascular system, you will increase your physical stamina and endurance.

  • Reduces Food Cravings and Promotes Safe and Effective Weight Loss: Regularly performing a weight training routine can alter the levels of two hormones that influence appetite: ghrelin and peptide YY. Studies have shown that these two hormones can decrease appetite and food cravings for several hours after the exercise routine has been completed.

  • Maintains and Improves Bone Density: Several medical studies have shown that placing the skeletal frame under stress derived from physical activity forces the body to reinforce the bones that are being utilized during the activity. For example, a recent study indicated that individuals that regularly performed a jogging or running routine maintained, and even increased, their bone density. In comparison, individuals that performed a walking routine did not show improvements in bone density. Since weight training exercises place stress on the bones, improvements in bone density can be achieved.

  • Allows Daily Activities and Chores to be Performed More Easily: Weight training increases the body’s ability to deliver oxygen and other nutrients to muscles. This makes the muscles much more efficient and raises their capacity to perform work. The end result is that an individual who regularly weight trains is much less likely to experience fatigue from daily activities. They simply exert a smaller percentage of their potential to perform the same amount of work.

  • Strengthens Ligaments, Tendons and Muscle Tissue: By forcing your ligaments, tendons and muscles to perform exercises that place a resistive load on them, you will strengthen all soft tissue associated with the specific exercise being performed.

  • Creates a Sculpted and Toned Physique: Adding lean muscle tissue while reducing excess body fat will create a denser, harder body. The end result is a toned and sculpted physique.

  • Improves Self-Image and Confidence: Regularly performing a weight training exercise routine will decrease excess body fat, increase lean muscle mass, improve cardiovascular endurance and create a sense of accomplishment. The end result is that you feel more comfortable with the appearance of your body, which leads to improvements in confidence and self-image.

  • Reduces the Risk of Several Injury Types: Weight training improves not only muscular strength, but structural strength as well. By conditioning and strengthening your structural frame, your body is better able to withstand several common injury types, including lower back injuries, sprains, strains and joint mobility injuries.

  • Lowers the Resting Blood Pressure Level: Performing a weight training routine with regularity will improve the efficiency with which your entire cardiovascular system operates. Several medical studies have shown that individuals that regularly perform a strength training routine lower their resting blood pressure level. This is likely due to the fact that the individual is improving the efficiency of his or her cardiovascular system.

  • Reduces the Probability of Contracting Type 2 Diabetes: According to a recent publication by Dr. Barry A. Franklin of William Beumont Hospital in Royal Oak Michigan, weight training may improve how sugar is processed by the body. Medical studies have shown that regularly performing a weight training routine can increase glucose utilization within the body by 23% in 4 months.

  • Reduces the Probability of Contracting Colon Cancer: Two of the primary factors related to contracting colon cancer are excessive body fat and waste remaining in the colon or rectum for an extended period of time. The longer toxic materials remain within the colon, the more time they have to leach out of the solidifying stool and back into the surrounding tissue, and thereafter, throughout the body. Weight training elevates the metabolism and gets the body moving, which forces the waste in your body to move as well. This is due to the fact that exercise stimulates peristalsis, the muscular contractions that facilitate pushing waste through the colon. Recent medical studies have shown that regularly exercising can decrease the risk of contracting colon cancer by up to 40%.

  • Increases HDL (Good) Cholesterol Levels in the Blood and Decreases Triglyceride Levels: High density lipoproteins (HDL) cleanse the blood of excess fat and cholesterol, and are considered the good type of cholesterol. Regularly performing a weight training exercise routine in which the individual burns at least 800 to 1,200 calories per week has proven effective at increasing HDL cholesterol levels while decreasing triglyceride levels at the same time.

  • Improves and Supports Good Posture: Since weight training strengthens the entire structural frame of an individual, the body is better able to support proper alignment and posture.

  • Strengthens the Immune System: There are several theories as to why exercise improves the body’s immune system. One theory is that when an individual exercises, their body increases the rate at which waste products are removed. Since the individual’s respiratory rate increases when exercising, an increased amount of bacteria and foreign particles are removed from the lungs. Additional waste by-products are removed through perspiration. The theory is that since you are flushing an increased amount of waste and infectious agents from your body, there is less risk of infection.

    • A second theory is that since exercise increases your heart rate, the white blood cells and other agents of the immune system move through your body more quickly. The theory holds that the amount of time it takes for the immune system to react to a potential infection is reduced.

    • The third theory is that since your body temperature rises when exercising, many of the bacteria and infectious components cannot survive the shift in body temperature.

    • The fourth theory is that exercise reduces stress, and stress is a key component in reducing the effectiveness of the immune system. By simply reducing your stress level, you will boost your immune system.

  • Improves Heart Efficiency and Lowers the Resting Heart Rate: It is important to understand that the heart is actually considered a muscle. By regularly exercising the heart and the entire cardiovascular system, the condition of the heart improves. By improving the condition of the heart and its ability to efficiently pump blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, the resting heart rate is lowered. What this essentially means is that the heart is able to perform its bodily functions with less effort.

  • Improves Coordination, Balance and Flexibility, and Maintains Range of Motion: Regularly performing a weight training exercise routine forces the body to perform exercises that require balance, timing and coordination. In addition, each joint (i.e. shoulder, knee, elbow, etc.) is required to travel through it’s entire range of motion during an exercise that utilizes the specific joint.

  • Improves Mood and Centers and Calms the Mind: During and after the performance of a weight training routine, endorphins are secreted by the pituitary gland. Endorphins act as an antidepressant and a natural pain reliever. The secretion of endorphins after an extended period of exercise has long been described as a “runner’s high,” or a euphoric feeling directly resulting from exercise. When an individual performs an exercise routine, their body secretes higher levels of serotonin and endorphins. These levels remain elevated for several days after the exercise routine was finished, and are believed to promote improvements in mood and increases in self-esteem.

  • Reduces Diseases Associated with Depression and Anxiety: When performing a physical activity, endorphins are secreted by the pituitary gland. Endorphins act as an antidepressant and a natural pain reliever. Increased levels of serotonin and endorphins are secreted when an individual performs an exercise routine. Not only do these elevated levels of serotonin and endorphins remain high for several days after the exercise routine was performed, but they promote improvements in mood and increases in self-esteem as well.

chest weight training

As is evident, regularly performing a weight training exercise routine can provide not only several physical benefits, but several mental benefits as well. In fact, there are several health and fitness benefits that can be obtained only through strength training.

For this reason, it is highly recommended that all exercise programs, for all individuals, include regularly performing some form of strength training.

As is the case with many things in life, balance is key. This being said, it is important to strive to live a lifestyle that includes all seven of the fundamental components of good health, fitness and mental well-being. By doing so, you will bring a balance to your lifestyle that will facilitate a long, healthy, fit and disease-free life.

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