Strength training is becoming more popular in recent years, particularly with the influence of small group workouts, functional strength exercises and routines like CrossFit. And research continually indicates the multiple benefits that strength training confers.
The multiple benefits of strength training include:
- Higher metabolism (so you burn more calories, even at rest)
- Greater muscle mass
- Lean, toned appearance
- Improved ability to manage physical stress
- Increased functional capacity
- Slows aging process
- Builds balance (reduces risk of falling)
- Enhanced mental health
- Can reduce symptoms of arthritis, osteoporosis and back pain
- Better glucose control (important for diabetics)
Some women still avoid strength training for fear that they will bulk up. But females do not have enough natural testosterone in their systems to create the huge muscles seen on bodybuilders, who typically must alter their diets and train intensely for many hours daily.
If you’re not currently doing strength training, you should be. While cardiovascular exercise is critical to develop endurance and condition the heart, lungs and circulatory system, strength training works the muscles and bones – the framework of the body. In addition to the many benefits above, strength training makes it easier to do activities of daily living – including carrying in groceries, scrubbing the kitchen floor or playing with your kids outside.
Also, strength training can improve your performance in sports – your golf or tennis game, running, skiing, softball and more. Plus, it gives you energy and helps you sleep better. It doesn’t get much better than that!
To begin, consult a fitness professional at your health club or local recreation center, or do some research on your own. If you’re working out at home, ideally you should have a barbell or two, some dumbbells and a few resistance bands. These aren’t expensive and can help overload the muscles during exercises so that you see results.
Perform exercises for the major muscle groups:
- Inner/Outer Thighs
Depending on your goals, you’ll do 1-4 sets of 8-15 repetitions for each exercise. Make sure you execute the moves slowly with control (don’t jerk or swing), and don’t hold your breath.
Regular strength training will definitely improve the quality of your life. Get started and Fuel Your Life!