Strength training exercise is important for everyone. It helps decrease your body fat while increasing your lean muscle mass. It also helps your body burn calories more efficiently. Strength training also keeps your bones strong, improves your flexibility and balance, and helps you sleep better and feel better about yourself. When combined with a healthy diet, strength training can help you lose weight and manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and depression.
Types of Strength Training
There are several types of strength training to choose from. Weight training depends on gravity, and the use of dumbbells or training equipment to oppose muscle contraction. This type of training engages your muscles throughout their range of motion to focus on strength and size. Here are some of the other types of strength training and their benefits.
- Circuit training combines strength exercises with endurance activity, so that you get strength, cardio and flexibility training from one workout.
- Resistance training can be done in water, or with elastic bands, to improve your overall muscular strength.
- Isometric training requires that you hold a weight or a position, without movement, for a period of time in order to improve muscular strength. Isometric training targets specific muscles and can strengthen joints.
- Plyometric training uses shorts bursts of movement, such as hopping and jumping, to increase speed, strength and power. This type of training forms part of the programs used by athletes.
- Core training strengthens the muscles in your abdomen and lower back and can help decreased lower back pain and spinal problems.
Strength Training And Dieting
Strength training can increase your metabolic rate to help you lose weight. But strength training itself requires a certain type of healthy diet. You should avoid sugars and fats, and include plenty of carbohydrates and protein in your diet to fully benefit from strength training exercise.
If you're trying to lose weight, it's okay to combine strength training with calorie counting, as long as you don't overdo your workouts. But plan to have a pre-workout snack of yogurt, fruit, low fat cheese or whole grain bread and nut butter. Drink 2 to 3 cups of water about 3 hours before your strength training workout, to ensure that your body is properly hydrated. Drink another cup of water about 10 minutes prior to your workout.
Strength Training Does More Than Help You Lose Weight
Research has shown that those who include strength training in their workouts burn about 200 calories more per workout than those who performed aerobic exercises alone. Strength training exercises such as bench press repetitions and squats not only build up your biceps and triceps but they increase your metabolic rate to help you burn more calories even when you're not exercising. Strength training exercise also increases your energy level, so you'll be better able to perform aerobic exercises such as jogging, swimming and cycling.
Strength training doesn't just help you lose weight; it increases balance and flexibility, reduces your risk of injury, helps you feel confident and increases your general sense of well-being.