The Importance of Strength Training
If you've been searching for the fountain of youth, look no further. One of the most potent weapons in the battle to combat aging is strength training. Looking better, feeling better, and yes, living longer are all side effects of a consistent, intelligent strength training program.
Here are but a few of the reasons why strength training is so important:
Many of the most common aches and pains people experience can be prevented by strength training. This includes low back pain, shoulder and knee issues, and even slips and falls. I like to call it "bullet-proofing your body." It’s both exercise science and common sense – Strong muscles help stabilize and therefore protect your joints.
Strength training helps makes your activities of daily living easier and therefore more enjoyable. Carrying groceries, gardening, playing with your children, recreational sports – All of these and more are vastly improved by strength training.
One of the only natural ways in which you can increase your metabolism is by building lean muscle, which is accomplished through strength training. This means that the more lean muscle you have the more calories you burn, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
After around age 35 we start to lose muscle every year. This leads to an increased likelihood of injury, decreased functional strength and a decreased metabolism. The great news is that we can slow this process down and possibly even stop it in its tracks if we continue to lift weights as we age.
More good news about strength training:
- It doesn't have to take a lot of time: Studies show that sessions lasting just a few minutes can make a big difference. You can work strength training in throughout your day, doing a few short sessions rather than one long continuous session, with the same results.
- It doesn't have to be expensive: You don't need to spend a fortune to get in a great strength training workout. One set of SelectTech dumbbells or even just your bodyweight is all you need to get started.
- You can do it at home: If you have a home, you have a home gym. You can get in a full-body workout in the privacy of your own home in the time it takes you to go to the fitness club.
- There's never been a better time to start: Thanks the explosion in fitness technology, there is a plethora of readily available and often free content on the internet so that you can find what you want, when you want it, and ensure you are doing it safely.
- It's never too late to start: In fact, studies have shown that people who begin strength training in their 70's and 80's can make enormous gains in a short amount of time.
I often say it's not a matter of if, but when you will inevitably strength train. You either do it proactively on your own terms for all the reasons listed above, or reactively on doctor's orders to rehabilitate an acute injury or try to alleviate chronic aches and pains. It's either "Prehab" or "Rehab." The choice is yours.
It is no exaggeration to say that strength training is the fountain of youth. There is a difference between aging and growing old, and strength training makes age simply a number. We are living longer than ever before and must invest in our health to ensure those years are as pleasurable and pain-free as possible. Strength training can not only help add years to our lives, but life to those years.