8 Surprising Benefits Of Strength Training

It's about so much more than muscle tone.

All the benefits of strength training that'll make you want to add it to your fitness routine.
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While it’s tempting to go after the endorphin rush you get from cardio workouts, the benefits of strength training are tough to ignore. Whether you lift weights, swing a kettlebell, or do a few push-ups at home, this kind of training is doing your mind and body good.

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What Is Strength Training?

“It’s a physical activity that strengthens a muscle or muscle group using external resistance,” trainer Kristie Alicea tells Bustle. This can mean exercises that use your body weight or dumbbells as well as using certain machines at the gym.

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It’s Functional

Everyday life becomes easier when you start strength training. Things like carrying groceries, climbing stairs, and even walking your dog will seem more manageable and pain-free, Alicea says, all because your muscles are stronger to support you.

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It Protects Your Joints

“Whenever you strengthen the muscles that surround a joint, you are fortifying that joint,” says fitness coach Jesse Milburn. In other words, strong muscles support and protect your moving parts — knees, hips, etc. — which makes you less prone to injury.

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It Decreases Risk Of Disease

“On a cellular level, strength training helps to pull glucose (sugar) from the muscle to use it as energy,” Alicea says. This aids in blood sugar management, which can decrease your risk of illnesses like diabetes and heart disease down the road.

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It Improves Body Awareness

Alicea says this type of exercise can improve your body’s proprioception, aka its spatial self-awareness. That means strength training allows you to move in a more self-assured way, feel more confident in movement, and decreases your risk of injury.

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It Strengthens Your Bones

Another perk is stronger bones, Alicea says, which is definitely something to consider as you get older and want to ward off osteoporosis. You can improve your bone mineral density by strength training three times a week.

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It Improves Your Posture

“A simple and sometimes overlooked benefit is that strength training helps improve posture,” Alicea says. That’s because you’ll have better strength in the muscles that support your spine and hold you upright, which results in better overall health.

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It’s A Mood Booster

A good strength training workout will release endorphins, Alice says, aka your happy hormones. Do your resistance-based routine a few times a week and you might notice that you experience less anxiety, fewer bad moods, and way less stress.

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It Gives You More Confidence

A stronger body can translate to greater confidence in how you feel, Milburn says. This is especially true if you’ve never focused on lifting or building muscle before. Give it a try and impress yourself with what your body’s capable of.

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