Exercise provides endorphins to your body. We know that! Go for a jog or an aerobics class and you will feel pretty good. Your body will be flooded with those feel-good hormones. Strength training is one of the four types of exercise. The other three are aerobic, balance, and flexibility. Let’s investigate how to get fit at home – 8 benefits of strength training.
Strength training or lifting weights gives you an extra special feeling of invincibility. That high stays with you for a long time.
Before beginning any new fitness program, always speak with your doctor first.
How to Get Fit at Home
Which Type of Strength Training is Right for Me?
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Strength training includes far more than barbells and dumbbells, even though they still stay at the top of the list as the most popular muscle building tools. Great news, there are far more options to choose from. Resistance bands, kettlebells, sandbags, and stability balls are only a few more options to mention.
You can also do body-weight moves, such as:
- Push ups
- Pull ups
- Walking lunges
- Dumbbell rows (use a gallon milk jug)
- 20 second plank
- Jumping Jacks
How to Get Fit at Home – 8 Benefits of Strength Training
Just think of being strong and independent well into old age. Strength training impacts you in many ways. Besides building muscles it is good for your mood, bones, muscles, and weight management. It makes a stronger heart and other organs and builds stronger connections in your brain. Strength training increases balance and mobility, and improves your overall quality of life. You can see how to get fit at home and enjoy these 8 benefits of strength training, plus more.
A study involving more than 1,800 people found that people with mild to moderate depression who practiced resistance training two or more days a week found their symptoms were significantly reduced. Those with extreme depression found great benefits as well. The amazing thing is , it didn’t matter whether they built muscles or not, their mood still improved!.
As you get older, bone density decreases. Some of this is associated with genetics or other things. Resistance training helps preserve dwindling bone density. Activity that puts extra stress on your bones can nudge those bone-forming cells into action. This will reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
Use It or Lose It
After age 30, age-related muscle loss sets in. You lose as much as 3% to 5% of your muscle per decade. Unless you take steps to reverse this, most men will lose about 30% of their muscle mass during their lifetime. Resistance exercise sometimes called strength training, increases muscle mass. Occasionally you hear of seniors who are still amazing at lifting weights. Building muscle as you age will keep you out of that rocking chair!
Stronger muscles boost your metabolic rate. This means that you will burn more calories, even when you are resting.
- Preserves muscle mass during weight loss
- Increased muscle improves calories burned
-Benefits Overall Body Functions
Building muscle requires oxygen. Strength training makes your body more efficient at providing oxygen to your body. This means improved circulation and a stronger heart. You will have improved resting blood pressure and reduced cholesterol. Strength training also helps you maintain stable blood sugar levels so important in Type 2 Diabetes.
-Better Brain Function
A recent study form the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows that when you use resistance training, it develops stronger neural connections in your brain. In other words, it is about building stronger brain connections as well as stronger muscles.
Some research also shows that strength training can increase cognitive abilities in older adults.
-Balance and Mobility
Building your strength makes everything easier. Such an obvious statement, but few people realize it until they experience it. Having the ability to push, pull, lift, carry, and throw all become easier and more effortless. This is what being stronger feels like.
-Better Quality of Life
Improved ability to do activities of daily living, strength training will contribute to better balance as well. This in turn will help you maintain your independence. It will actually boost your energy and stamina.
Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, such as back pain, obesity, heart disease, and arthritis.
It is not about being the best, its is about being better than you were yesterday.
Strength Training at Home or in the Gym
With little or no equipment, you can do body weight exercises. Pull ups, push ups, planks, and leg squats.
You can use resistance bands or tubing that provides resistance when stretched.
Barbells, and dumbbells are classic for use in strength training. If you are at home, your imagination is the limit as to what you can use for weights. A backpack full or books, liquid laundry detergent, even water bottles or soup cans can be used for weightlifting, for those who want to start light.
If you have the option of using a gym, there will be weight machines. Most fitness centers offer a variety to target different muscles. The avid gymnast can even invest in weight machines to use at home.
How Much Exercise Do I Need?
If you are just starting out on an exercise routine, after living a sedentary lifestyle, take it slow. Work you way up, and you will surprise yourself as to how much you can accomplish.
The American Heart Association recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes moderate to vigorous exercise a week and strength training at least two days a week. Speak with your doctor first and set realistic goals based on your health and ability.
Power – Not Just Strength
Building muscle is not all about strength says Dr. Storer. “Muscle power, how fast and efficiently you move, is more connected to the activities of daily living and physical function than muscular strength,” he adds.
A good way to improve muscle power is with your legs. They bear most responsibility for mobility. “Doing quicker movements against resistance, like one’s own body weight, can be an effective means of developing power,” say Dr. Storer
You need to target all major muscle groups and workout two to three times a week.
Add Protein to Your Diet
Your diet also plays a role in building muscle mass. Protein is king of muscle making food. Your body breaks down protein into amino acids. It uses these amino acids to build muscle.
As you age, your body becomes less efficient in breaking down and using these proteins. Food is the best way to add protein to your diet. Using protein powders may add unwanted calories.
You can add protein to your diet by eating meat, eggs, and milk.
You want to stay away from red meat and processed meat. Some healthier choices are:
- 3.5 ounces of lean chicken or salmon
- 6 oz of plain Greek yogurt (17 g)
- 1 cup of skim milk
- 1 cup of cooked beans (about 18 g)
Listen to Your Body
Be careful to listen to your body. If resistance training causes pain, back off for a day or two. You could also try lesser weight. Withing just two or three weight training sessions a week you will see significant improvement in your strength.
You will notice improvement in your strength over time. As your muscle mass increases, you will be able to lift more weight for longer periods of time. As you continue strength training, you will surprise yourself as to how far you have progressed!
How to get fit at home – 8 benefits of strength training.
Strength training improves:
- Bone density
- Weight management
It benefits overall body functions and gives better balance and mobility, increases cognitive function, and gives you an overall better quality of life.
Please Leave a Comment!
I would love to hear from you. Do you implement strength training in your workout routine? Do you have special hints for working out at home?
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. No content on this site should be substituted for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner. The information contained here is for informational purposes only. It is from my research and personal experience.