What are the benefits of resistance training? After years of being seen as the poor cousin of cardio work, the benefits of resistance training are finally being recognised not just for pro athletes, but for the general population too.
Also known as strength training or weight lifting, there are many benefits to resistance training. These include:
- Burning fat - this is a high intensity workout and thus very effective for fat burning.
- Increased metabolism - this type of workout will speed up your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories) not just in the short term, but also long term - the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, all day every day!
- Bone density - strength work places demands on not just your muscles, but also your bones - this stimulates bone growth, and thus prevents osteoporosis.
- Joint stabilisation - your joints are all supported by your muscles. The stronger your muscles, the stronger and more stable your joints are. This will improve both your balance and co-ordination.
- Functional Strength - this refers to your ability to do everyday tasks - carry a child, unload groceries, climb stairs, etc. Increasing functional strength has a tremendous impact on your overall well being and reduces your risk of injury.
- Lowers unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels.
These types of workouts have long been surrounded by myths, but the truth is they will not make you hairy and overly muscular. They are suitable for everyone, men and women, old and young, and are one of the best things you can do to maintain long-term health and well-being.