When it comes to choosing an exercise mode that can have the most powerful impact on every aspect of your life, strength training is the way to go.
The great thing about strength training is that it gives you back considerably more than the effort required.
Not only will you transform your body, but you can strengthen your mind, prevent illness, delay aging, and set yourself up for a long, energetic life. To convince you, here are 50 reasons you need to give strength training a try.
#1: Increase Muscle: Besides giving you a lean, svelte look, muscle has a powerful protective effect, increasing longevity and your chance of surviving an illness.
#2: Raise Metabolism: Along with increasing muscle mass, strength training raises the catecholamine fat burning hormones that stimulate calorie burning.
#3: Reduce Body Fat: Strength training is a great way to lose body fat because it increases lean mass, raising metabolism and improving how your body responds to fat burning hormones.
#4: Increase Power: Strength training recruits the powerful type 2 muscles that aid balance and improve speed and power.
#5: Improve Movement Patters: Strength training protects you from developing asymmetry and awkward movement patterns that increase injury risk.
#6: Prevent Age Related Fat Gain: Most people think fat gain is a given with age, but it can be prevented with a smart diet and regular lifting that maintains muscle.
#7: Improve The Nervous System: Not only will strength training allow you to apply greater force into the ground for a faster first step, it builds you the brain-to-muscle connection so that your body works more efficiently.
#8: Protect Your DNA: Strength training upregulates genetic pathways that prevent aging, rebuild damaged tissue, burn energy, and use oxygen.
#9: Decrease Blood Pressure: By using active rest periods, strength training can improve arterial function and lower blood pressure, reducing the load on the heart.
#10: Improve Heart Function: Strength training can improve cardiac output and reduce the chronic, overall load on the heart, improving cardiovascular function.
#11: Lower Risk of Heart Disease: Strength training reduces C-reactive protein—a type of inflammation linked to heart disease.
#12: Counter Insomnia: Because it lowers brain inflammation and balances circadian rhythms, strength training should be your first line of defense for fighting insomnia.
#13: Have Less Chronic Pain: In addition to raising the pain threshold, strength training reduces pain perception in chronic pain sufferers.
#14: Reduce Risk of Injury: Besides avoiding soft tissue and muscle weaknesses, strength training allows you to move better, decreasing the risk of twisting an ankle or tearing an ACL.
#15: Balance Blood Sugar: Most people’s blood sugar is all over the map. Lifting weights increases the muscle’s demand for glucose, regulating overall blood sugar levels.
#16: Lower Cancer Risk: By improving hormone balance, reducing obesity, and protecting DNA, strength training is linked with lower risk of cancer.
#17: Improve Fat Burning Hormones: Along with releasing post-workout fat burning hormones, strength training raises baseline hormones by lowering body fat and improving metabolism.
#18: Improve Reproductive Function: By resetting the HPA axis that regulates hormone release, strength training can improve levels of sex hormones for better reproductive health.
#19: Build Mental Toughness: Challenging your body with heavy weights is an exceptional method for developing the strength of your mind and overcoming self-imposed obstacles.
#20: Get Toned: Getting toned requires you to lose body fat and increase lean tissue. Besides sprinting, strength training is the best way to make this happen without too much struggle.
#21: Improve Ability To Handle Stress: Strength training balances release of stress-fighting hormones, making you better able to deal when the going gets tough.
#22: Improve Reaction Time: By enhancing the brain-to-muscle connection, strength training lets you react faster and have less risk of falling or getting into a sticky situation on the road.
#23: Increase Immune Function: Strength training boosts the immune system by raising natural antioxidant levels of glutathione and immunoglobulin hormones that protect against illness.
#24: Boost Mood: By increasing beta endorphins and raising body temperature, strength training enhances mood and helps you avoid depression.
#25: Build Confidence: As you discover the depth of your physical strength and drive, you learn to persevere and overcome failure, building confidence and self-worth.
#26: Prevent Diabetes: Caused by a combination of excess calories and sedentarism, strength training increases the muscles’ demand for glucose, while sensitizing lean tissue to insulin.
#27: Get Faster: Whether you want to lower your 5K time, get faster on the basketball court, or have more speed when playing with your kids, strength training increases speed and power.
#28: Improve Brain Function: By lowering inflammation in the brain and raising the BDNF hormone that encourage learning, strength training is your go to for sharpening cognition.
#29: Build Better Looking Abs: Great abs require a lean body fat percentage and a strong core musculature, both of which are encouraged by strength training (healthy eating helps!).
#30: Improve Recovery From Cancer: By building protective lean tissue and improving immunity, strength training can improve longevity and your recovery after fighting cancer.
#31: Reduce Side Effects of Menopause: Along with helping avoid menopause-related fat gain, strength training reduces the debilitating effects of hormonal shifts.
#32: Prevent Back Pain: By building you a strong core and improving coordination throughout the body, strength training is your best bet for avoiding back pain.
#33: Avoid Osteoarthritis: Strength training doesn’t just target muscle. It increases connective tissue all over the body, improving range-of-motion and health of joints.
#34: Prevent Belly Fat: By lowering inflammation, stress, and insulin, strength training is your go-to exercise mode for battling dangerous belly fat.
#35: Prevent Alzheimer’s & Age-Related Cognitive Decline: Along with boosting the brain health hormones, strength training fixes your metabolism, leading to less brain deterioration.
#36: Earn More Money: Any exercise habit can boost income, but strength training may convey a special effect due to how it improves appearance and cognition.
#37: Improve Sleep: Even in people without insomnia, strength training will enhance sleep quality by 5 to 10 percent due to improved hormone balance and less inflammation.
#38: Overcome Depression: Exercise may not be your first choice when depressed, but studies show a varied exercise program like lifting weights may be more effective than anti-depressants.
#39: Strengthen Bone: The best bone building exercise on the planet, strength training stimulates bone mineralization to protect your skeleton from fracture and osteoporosis.
#40: Increase Metabolic Flexibility: One reason strength training is useful for preventing diabetes is that it increases your body’s ability to switch between burning body fat and glucose.
#41: Increase EPOC: Standing for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, EPOC refers to the increased calorie burning that occurs during the 24-hour recovery period.
#42: Helps You Stay Active During The Day: With phones, desk jobs, and Netflix, it’s a battle to be spontaneously active. Strength training encourages this by improving movement economy.
#43: Improve Mitochondria: Though not as much as sprinting, strength training will increase mitochondria, which are the energy powerhouses of cells that slow the aging process.
#44: Improve Endurance: Often thought of as the enemy of endurance, strength training targets untapped muscle fibers and improves energy use in the muscle for increased stamina.
#45: Live Longer: Muscle strength is a robust indicator of longevity. Not only is strength protective against disease, it makes you more mobile in the case of a fall.
#46: Boost Energy: Instead of downing a cup of coffee when you start yawning, hitting the weights can triple your energy levels by 150 percent.
#47: Improve Libido: By lowering body fat and raising androgen hormones, strength training can boost libido in both men and women.
#48: Do Better In School: The combination of increased brain health, and greater perseverance mean that strength training improves grades at a variety of academic levels.
#49: Increase Flexibility: Strength training improves range of motion around the joints and even increases the sarcomere units in muscle fibers for greater flexibility.
#50: Challenges Your Will: Some days are hard in the gym. Pushing yourself through physical discomfort increases your internal drive and builds confidence in your will to get through whatever challenges life throws at you.