Key Benefits of Strength Training and How to Get Started

Key Benefits of Strength Training and How to Get Started

By Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA, Vice President, Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness

Whether you’re a gung-ho grandparent, a millennial or just finding your footing as an adult, you can benefit from regular strength training.

Unfortunately, most people only focus on cardio, also known as aerobic exercise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 53.1 percent of American adults met the physical activity guidelines for aerobic physical activity in 2017. That is, they walked or ran for at least 30 minutes each day.

However, only 23.5 percent met the guidelines for muscle-strengthening activity. This means they lifted weights or did push-ups at least two days each week.

Why Strength Training Matters to Everyday Health

Strength training isn’t only about looking good or improving your athletic performance. As we age, we naturally start to lose muscle mass, and our bone density starts to decrease. Strength training creates micro-tears in your muscles, which repair and come back stronger. It’s a similar process in your bones, which are fortified with calcium as they rebuild after being tested with resistance.

Three benefits of strength training include:

Your exercise routine should include strength training, using props such as weights, resistance bands, or kettlebells, or your body’s own weight to work muscle groups (as with push-ups or sit-ups).

The Secrets of Successful Strength Training

Starting a new regimen can be daunting, especially if you’re not a particularly athletic person, but don’t despair! Your body will quickly become attuned to training, and you’ll create a habit you can keep for the rest of your life.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you embark on your strength-training routine:

An Easy Program to Get Started

The great news is that incorporating weights into your exercise program does not have to be complicated to get results. Consistency is the key the long-term success.