Give me Strength

Give me Strength, training, workout, exercise, weight loss, blood pressure

What strength training is all about and why everyone should be doing it...

What exactly is strength? Put simply, it's the ability of a muscle to exert force and overcome resistance. 

That might not sound like something you are eager to devote your time to improve.

There is a multitude of benefits to be gained from becoming stronger which go far beyond being able to shift heavy objects. 

How about looking leaner, improving muscle definition, getting a firmer, shapelier body enhancing body composition, and boosting your calorie expenditure for starters? And there's more...

A few years back strength training didn't get much attention when people extolled the virtues of exercise

It was all about aerobic workouts. But there is now irrefutable evidence that strength training is not just desirable but essential for optimal health

Getting the picture that it is well worth making strength training part of your life? Just in case you're not convinced, here are 12 compelling reasons — weight loss aside to persuade you...

It helps your heart:

Give me Strength, training, workout, exercise, weight loss, blood pressure
If you think that the aerobic system isn't involved in resistance training, you are mistaken. 

For starters, it fuels recovery, not just between repetitions and sets of exercises but also following the session itself. 

It instigates heart-healthy changes in the cardiovascular system — such as allowing more blood to get to the muscle and enabling waste products to be cleared more efficiently. 

Of course, the heart itself is a muscle and strength training has been shown to increase the size of the heart chamber responsible for pumping blood around the body. 

This allows more blood to be delivered to the exercising muscles with every beat.

It lowers the risk of diabetes:

Diabetes is one of the fastest increasing diseases in the Western world. 

Traditionally, aerobic exercise has been recommended to improve glucose metabolism but in a recent study four months of strength training increased glucose uptake by an average of 23% — indicating that it could be equally as effective. 

It also seems that strength training improves glucose metabolism both in subjects with normal glucose metabolism and those who already have an abnormal response. 

Researchers aren't exactly sure how it helps but recent studies suggest that resistance training increases the number and efficiency of glucose receptors in muscles so that the body doesn't need to produce as much insulin.

It reduces blood pressure:

Strength training used to be thought to increase blood pressure but, increasingly, evidence shows that it can reduce blood pressure both acutely (as the result of a single session) and chronically (in the long term). 

This is especially good news because hypertension is associated with heart disease, stroke, and kidney problems. 

Improved strength also reduces stress on the heart. In a twelve-week study, subjects worked out with weights to strengthen the lower body muscles. 

By the end of the study period, their blood pressure rose significantly less during lifting activities.

It bulks up your bones:

Building bone density is the first line of defense against the debilitating disease osteoporosis that affects one in three women over the age of 50. 

Research shows that bone mineral density (BMD) is highly related to the strength of the muscles attached to those bones. In a research study, twice-weekly resistance training over the course of a year resulted in a 6.3% increase in bone mineral density of the lumbar spine. 

The surprising thing about this is that the women were post- menopausal — when bone density is usually plummeting. 

The control group in the study (who did no strength training) lost 3.7% of their bone density during that same year. 

While weight-bearing activities like running and high impact aerobics are great for bone density, they only influence the particular pans of the skeleton that is stressed a lot by the activity. 

As well as preserving bone density strength training reduces the risk of osteoporotic fractures, by improving balance and muscle strength, thereby reducing the risk of falls.

It preserves your joint health:

Strength training isn't just good for muscles it strengthens the connective tissues too such as ligaments, tendons, and cartilage while movement keeps the joint structures bathed in sticky synovial fluid. 

All these factors keep joints healthy and can even alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

It may improve your cholesterol profile:

First, a quick cholesterol recap: HDL good, LDL bad! High levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol is associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease, while high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is positively beneficial to heart health, helping to prevent the development of atherosclerosis. 

There's been conflicting evidence regarding whether strength training can help to improve cholesterol profile but it certainly seems that post-menopause (when heart-protective estrogen is out of the picture) resistance training can be very beneficial. 

In research from the University of Oklahoma post-menopausal women who took part in twelve weeks of resistance training using resistance bands experienced a significant rise (13%) in HDL cholesterol levels despite the fact that they did not lose weight or body fat. 

The poorer the initial cholesterol profile the greater the subject's improvement,

It keeps you regular:

Yup, strength training can improve your digestion! A study that involved thirteen weeks of strength training, including exercises for the abdominals, found a staggering 56% acceleration in gastrointestinal tract time (GITT). 

The reason this is desirable is that a long GITT is associated with colon cancer, not to mention digestive problems.

It's the way to an easier life:

If you think strength training is all about aesthetics, think again. Put it this way: if you can lift a 201b weight, that 101b bag of shopping isn't going to pose a challenge. 

Being stronger helps you get through daily tasks with less effort and more energy. 

In fact, anyone reading this who has had children has already experienced the effects of 'progressive overload' strength training:

first off when the baby was growing inside you and then after his or her birth, when you continued to nurse, pick up and carry your little bundle of joy despite his or her rapidly advancing weight.

It can make you a better athlete:

Even if you’re main fitness focus is an endurance activity such as running or cycling there is solid evidence that strength training can aid your performance. 

As well as making connective tissues more robust it also increases muscle power and makes movement patterns more efficient so that you waste less energy. 

Being stronger will make you less injury-prone.

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It makes you happier:

Strength training can put a smile on your face! And the harder you work the happier you'll get, according to research from the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. 

Depressed adults were put on a high or low intensity-training strength program for eight weeks. 

At the end of the study period, a reduction in depressive symptoms was directly associated with the amount of strength gained. 

Over half the high intensity,

Give me Strength Give me Strength Reviewed by Muhammad Akram on July 22, 2020 Rating: 5

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