Written by UConn Dietetics Intern Jami Pliego
Let’s talk strength training! There is a common misconception that only body builders or those looking to gain weight need to practice strength training. However, this is not true! Regular strength training is important to keep your muscles working properly and maintaining body strength. Anyone can strength train, and it may even be more important for our bodies as we age.
Here are 7 reasons why we should strength train!
- Helps to maintain a healthy weight
Strength training regularly helps decrease visceral fat¹(tummy fat), which is associated with an increased risk of many chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes².
- Increases metabolism
Strengthening and building muscle increases metabolic rate not only during exercise, but for extended periods of time after exercise. This allows the body to burn more calories².
- Improve ability to perform daily activities
Strong muscles help to support your bones, tendons, and ligaments. This increases overall mobility and flexibility to move around and about¹.
- Lowers your risk of injury
Strong muscle helps you support your body frame. This also decreases your chance of falls and other injuries¹.
- Improves heart health
Regular strength training can decrease blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, and improve circulation¹.
- Promotes a better quality of life
Especially as we age, it is very important to maintain muscle strength². Older adults who strength train are more likely to have better mental health, manage pain, and be physically fit¹.
- Boosts your mood
Regular strength training helps to improve mental health and brings out positive feelings¹.
This material is funded by UDSA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
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