Many people who think of exercise do not think of lifting weights or building strength. They think instead of running, doing a dance class, or cycling. These activities are great for developing your heart and lung health, but strength training is also important for fitness. If you've been dedicated to cardio workouts but haven't added in strength training, consider starting to add in strength conditioning today.
1. Strength training improves your metabolism.
Lifting weights builds lean muscle tissue. This tissue requires more energy to maintain on a day to day basis, which means your body will use more energy as it builds and repairs the muscles you develop. People can see a reduction in fat if they lift weights consistently, and if they are focused on losing weight, weight lifting can help them achieve a healthy mass.
2. Building muscle can improve cardio performance.
Have you ever felt like you need to take some time off running because your joints and ligaments need a break from pounding the pavement? One of the ways to get consistent with running or other cardio activities is to improve your joint stability with strength training. As your muscles grow and your core gets stronger from stabilizing your weights as you lift, your body will be able to handle the requirements of cardio more effectively. If your cardio involves any explosive movements, such as a sprint, jump, or lunge forward, lifting weights gives your muscles a bit more power to sustain those movements and make them sharper and cleaner.
3. Strength training properly prevents injury.
If you develop strong muscles through your back, legs, and core, you won't injure yourself as easily as you go through day-to-day activities. Your posture improves so you don't have the same neck and back soreness. You learn to lift with your legs to protect your lower back. Your ligaments and connective tissues also get stronger as you build strength, which means they pull or tear less easily. You also learn the right way to move and engage your core, which means you have better functional mobility.
4. Strength training helps you as you age.
Finally, as you age, you naturally lose muscle mass. If you didn't have very much mass developed when you were younger, you get even weaker as the years pass. The only way to prevent this weakness (and the injuries, stiffness, and loss of mobility that come as a result), is to strength train throughout your life. Your bones also stay stronger if you lift weights, preventing osteoporosis as you naturally lose bone density with age.
For more information on strength training, contact an exercise facility.