Health Insights: The importance of strength training

imageBy Asunta Simoloka

A balanced workout regimen must include strength training on a regular basis.  Strength training, also known as resistance training, involves the use of resistance in order to build strength which is achieved by adding and maintaining lean muscle and bone mass.

Lean muscle is more metabolically active compared to fat, so you need plenty of lean muscle and very little fat in order to burn a substantial amount of calories.  Strength training is done by lifting weights, using weight machines, resistance bands, or using the body’s own weight as resistance like is the case with pushups, tricep dips, and crunches.

The effects of strength training on your health are tremendous.  This wonder exercise fights chronic illnesses, eases arthritis pain, lowers the risk of fractures, builds strong joints, boosts joint function, improves sleep, and enhances bone health.  Other amazing benefits of strength exercise include improvedposture, better balance, endurance, increased energy levels, a clear mind, and higher confidence.

Most women are hesitant to take up strength training because they associate this type of exercise withexaggerated muscles which can make women look less feminine.  The truth however is that no matter how much strength training is done, women simply do not have the hormones required to grow oversized muscles.  Strength training is a perfect tool for women to achieve the right amount of muscle, increase vitality, and tone up

imageWomen with exaggerated muscles most likely take performance enhancement drugs such as anabolicsteroids to build excessive lean muscle.  People who take these substances are no healthier than people who do not exercise at all; healthy fitness is achieved by using the body’s own natural ability.  Steroidsare harmful and their health repercussions include infertility, hypertension, baldness, and cholesterol abnormalities.  Men risk impotence and smaller than normal testicles while women may experienceirregular menstruation.

Strength training is a must-do exercise once you hit 30, the age when the body starts to lose lean muscle.  If nothing is done, your body loses shape because lean muscle is what maintains definition.  Strength training on a regular basis reverses muscle loss and adds more lean muscle resulting in a perfectly tonedup appearance.

 

Healthy living tip

Arthritis is rare in rural Africa because of regular physical activity and low meat diets