Calorie and Energy Expenditure
Strength-Training and Health
What are the Health Benefits of Strength-Training?
Strength-training refers to weight-bearing or resistance exercise. Although weight-lifting is a popular part of strength-raising workouts, the goal of strength training is not to build huge muscles (that's bodybuilding or muscle-building), but to improve functional strength, muscle endurance and general fitness to promote overall health.
Wide Range of Health Benefits
Strength training is a recommended fitness activity for a wide range of health benefits associated with muscle fitness. These health improvements include:
(1) Stronger muscles to hold our bones in correct alignment, thus relieving pain in joints and back. Strong muscles, tendons and ligaments are less likely to give way under stress and are less likely to be injured.
(2) Stronger bones to increase bone-mass and reduce the possibility of osteoporosis.
(3) Faster metabolic rate, which helps to raise resting calorie expenditure. A faster metabolism helps reduce obesity, improves weight loss and long-term weight control as you age. Research confirms that the higher the exercise intensity, proportionately more fat will be burned during the recovery phase. Recent research on the effect of a resistance training on post-exercise energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate, concluded that strenuous strength training can elevate metabolic rate for extended periods, and that this enhanced metabolism is due to oxidation of body fat.
(4) Increased stamina and muscle endurance,
which helps prevent fatigue, muscle-strain and falls. Strength-training
also benefits energy-levels.
(6) Improved metabolic health, which benefits a number of basic conditions such as blood glucose control and blood pressure.
(7) Improved body posture and mobility. The way you sit and stand are influenced by the vitality of a network of neck, shoulder, back, hip and abdominal muscles. Stronger muscles enable you to stand and sit straighter and more comfortably.
(8) Improved body shape. Strength-training helps to produce a lean toned look, which benefits self-image and general emotional health.
Frequency and Duration of Strength Training
Research indicates that nearly all the benefits
of resistance training are likely to be obtained in two 15 to 20 minute
training sessions a week.
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