Exercise can be divided into two main subgroups: resistance training and cardio. There has been consistent debate about which of these are most beneficial to our bodies. The most important thing to remember is that the type of exercise you do should be based upon your own personal goals and body type. There is the misconception that weight training is solely for building muscles and cardio is for only losing weight. These misconceptions are not only limiting but also lead to many people to exercise ineffectively.
So, what are the benefits of following a resistance training program? Resistance training does increase lean muscle mass and size. However, this increase in strength does not only provide aesthetic value, but many other physical benefits. Increase in strength and lean muscle mass helps to improve mobility, endurance and posture, while also decreasing your risk of injury. While resistance training is beneficial for all ages, it is especially important for our ageing population. As we get older, simple movements such as standing up from a chair or walking to the shops become more difficult and even impossible for some. Resistance training has been proven to make a huge impact, slowing down these side effects of ageing. A commonly overlooked benefit of resistance training is that it improves ones' mental well-being. During resistance training your body releases endorphins, the hormone which makes you happy and is most associated with chocolate! Resistance training also leads to a decrease in cortisol, which is released into the body when we are under stress. Resistance training also has the potential to improve your perception of yourself. Looking and feeling stronger can improve your self-confidence!
So, to conclude, resistance training not only makes you happier but will also leave you feeling less stressed with life's many challenges, how good is that!? While many people jump on the treadmill when looking to reduce body fat, resistance training has been proven to enable the body to burn fat during and even after your weights workout has finished! As you workout, you burn energy and ultimately build lean muscle mass. The amount of lean muscle we have on our bodies has a big impact on our resting metabolism, a massive 70%! So those with a higher amount of lean muscle will continue to burn more fat even when resting! These are just several of the benefits of resistance training, yet they all make it clear that resistance training has far more benefits than simply gaining strength and muscle.