We are a very sedentary population these days. Between sitting at work, stuck in quarantine, or sitting in your car, we spend most of our day sitting. This can cause us to end up gaining weight, tight and/or weak muscles, and a higher risk for injury and comorbidities. We don’t mean to do this. Everyone knows they should work out, but it is easier to justify not taking extra time out of your already busy day to go make yourself sweat. Some people just need to remember their reasons for why they want to resistance train. Today, I’d like to go over the top benefits of resistance training and get you kickstarted to moving again.
Resistance training, and exercise in general releases hormones in the body that allow you to feel good. Having the structure of working out first thing, or at a designated time slot, allows you to create a template for your day that follows a timeline. I know I feel significantly better when I get my workout out of the way versus it sitting on the back of my mind or not having gotten to do it at all. It clears my mind, and actually gives me more energy to take care of my tasks at work or around the house,
Diet and cardio alone could get you to lose weight for sure. However, what most people want when they diet down is to hold onto the muscle they have or look “tone”. Either way that involves retaining muscle, which resistance training allows you to do. It sends the necessary signal to tell your body to keep muscle around. Having more muscle also allows you to burn more calories at rest, thus giving you more calories to eat in your day to be used up for energy. It gives you that flexibility to indulge and overeat occasionally on the holidays without worrying too much about gaining weight.
Probably the most obvious benefit, resistance training keeps your bones strong, and muscles big. By having a proper workout routine, you give your body the tools to add a muscular structure that makes your day to day living a lot easier. Whether it’s moving furniture, or keeping up with your kids, you need a certain level of fitness to keep up with these things. It also decreases your risk of injury. As we get older our muscle and bone strength declines. That’s why you see as people get older they start to get more brittle. We can combat this with weights.
If you are sitting around all day doing nothing, your body has no reason to provide you with energy. It sounds counterintuitive to think making yourself sweat gives you energy, but by revving up that metabolism, and giving your body a stimulus to adapt against, it is providing you with more energy to combat that. Sure, it is easy to overdo your exercise, so the key is to pay attention to your body. You should finish a workout feeling good, not completely exhausted.
Lowered Risk of Chronic Disease
Resistance training has the ability to lower and sometimes even completely reverse diseases such as being type 2 diabetic. Building muscles, or working out can increase insulin sensitivity, as well as the caloric expenditure, allowing you to be better at partitioning the calories you are taking in.
Working out has shown to increase Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor in the brain. This is like a Miracle Gro for the brain. It allows you to focus and perform better. Not to mention, utilizing dumbbells and selecting exercises that challenge your body in different planes of motion allow for better range of motion and body awareness. You will also see a better central nervous system connection due to these adaptations.
When you place an exercise stimulus on the body, yes it places stress on the body, but it also teaches the body to repair more efficiently (which it will do while you are sleeping). It also gives you better quality sleep due to allowing an outlet for your body to release some of its pent up energy.
Most pain these days is the result of poor movement patterns, or lack thereof throughout the day. If you don’t use it you lose it. Even worse, if you are, let's say sitting all day, you are shortening certain muscles, not teaching them to fire properly, leaving you tight in the lower back or shoulders. There is no better way to address these issues than putting it under a proper load, and through a full range of motion to regroove the new pattern.