You may think that strength training is all about building muscle and strength — but in reality, it’s so much more than that. This form of exercise has many unexpected benefits that can help you live a healthier and happier life.
It protects bone health
Researchers from Chonnam National University Medical School detail that strength training is great for bone health. Specifically, it strengthens the bones through something called “mechanical loading.” Bones, by way of bone cells known as osteocytes, have the ability to continue forming as a response to high mechanical strain. In other words, bone formation is increased when mechanical strain is high (i.e. when lifting weights). Strength training also reduces wear and bone porosity. For adults who have reached skeletal maturity (somewhere past age 18 to 25), strength training can reduce bone loss and decrease the risk of osteoporosis.
It improves cardiovascular health
An Iowa State University study on the benefits of resistance training reveals that strength training improves cardiovascular health, too. In fact, lifting weights for less than an hour each week has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke by 40 to 70%. It can even reduce the risk of high cholesterol by 32%. In short, lifting weights can be just as good for your cardiovascular health as doing aerobic exercise.
It enhances mental health
A US News Health feature on the benefits of strength training points out that lifting weights can improve symptoms of both clinical depression and anxiety. This is because exercise triggers the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormone. Moreover, strength training can help you develop mental resilience by encouraging you to overcome physical obstacles.
Time to start booking those group weightlifting classes. Not only will you have fun working out, you’ll also build muscle, develop strength, and live healthier. Ready to get started? Gympass has thousands of gym and studio partners to choose from. If your company offers Gympass, sign up for free and start your 7-day free trial.
Article written by Claire Daniels | Exclusively for Gympass