Benefits of Strength Training for Total Body Health

The hype is real; strength training is one of those full-body workouts that ticks all the boxes. If you’re looking to add some variety to your workout plan and want something that boosts total body health, then strength training is a fantastic place to start. This style of training is vital to incorporating aerobic activity and flexibility exercises to your routine and home gym setup, and utilises resistance to encourage your muscles to work against extra weight.

Strength Training

Strength training benefits both the male and female body and can be incorporated into any fitness plan, regardless of your current level. The obvious advantages are the weight loss that comes with it, and the increase in strengthening and toning your muscles. But what else makes it one of the highest rated training methods today?

Effectively Burns Fat

Strength training helps you lose weight and body fat in a few different ways. It’s effective in allowing you to retain the muscle you have, while eating a calorie deficit diet and shredding extra weight too. The ability to burn fat through strength training goes hand-in-hand with body composition. Whilst your overall weight may not change initially, over time you will notice a decrease in waist measurements and body fat measurement. Strength training will boost metabolism by speeding up your Resting Metabolic Rate (which means burning calories when resting), encourage muscle gain and fat loss.

Increases Strength and Builds Muscle

Strength training, also known as resistance training, increases strength by neurological adaptations. As your nervous system learns how to recruit your muscle fibres more effectively, muscle growth is boosted and improvement in tone becomes noticeable. Because this type of training makes your muscles work against a resisting weight or force, muscle strength is quickly amplified. By adding strength training to your daily workout, you can actually stop, prevent and reverse bone and muscle loss.

Boosts Muscle Tone

There’s two types of strength training that will help to develop better body mechanics, muscle tone and strength. Isometric resistance works by contracting your muscles against a non-moving object, such as a push-up on the floor. Isotonic strength training on the other hand, involves contracting your muscles through a range of motions like weight lifting. As they both implement a conditioning effect, muscles are better defined and firmer as a result. Both are effective for boosting muscle tone and making your body overall stronger and healthier.

Encourages Greater Flexibility

As your body’s mechanics develop through resistance training, balance and flexibility is improved. Those with poor flexibility and balance will be able to reduce their risk of falling through regular training. Coordination is also heightened and posture is improved. Flexibility is increased by working the muscles in full range motion and the more flexible you become, the less likely you will experience muscle pulls and back pain.

Makes Your Healthier

Healthy isn’t just defined through appearance – your state of mind and how you feel inside is just as important too. One of biggest benefits about strength training the natural enhancement to your overall health. Physical changes in your body will happen first, and as your body develops and strengthens, your ability to handle stress will improve, sleep patterns are boosted and your state of mind is lifted significantly.

As far as workouts are concerned, strength training gives you the biggest bang for your buck health wise. Bone density is increased, blood flow is improved, cholesterol levels are improved and blood pressure is reduced. Through regular strength training disease prevention is also common. As a healthier lifestyle change, glucose control is encouraged which can assist with type 2 diabetes, arthritis pain is reduced, breast cancer risks are lowered and because it builds bone mass, the risk of osteoporosis is minimised.

Maximises Workout Efficiency

Workouts can get tedious – especially when you’re committing to the same exercise plans daily. Strength training is beneficial (and fun!) because it consists of a variety of exercises that combine aerobic workouts with cardio, and only require two 15-20-minute training sessions a week to reap the rewards, providing you’re doing them properly. You can mix it up on a daily basis and still gain a full-body strength workout. All the corresponding resistance training exercises help to make day-to-day life easier too, making little tasks more manageable like lifting the food shopping, carrying your baby or participating in other exercise activities like swimming, biking and yoga.

Author Bio

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson who recommends Orbit Fitness – the largest supplier of fitness equipment in Perth. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.

eFit30 answers FAQ’s, How Often Should You Be Exercising?

One question that some people ask themselves as they go about their workout protocol is how often they should be exercising during the week. How much is enough – and is there such a thing as too much?

Exercise is something that you can get too much of if you aren’t careful because the body does take so long to recover from intense workouts that you’re doing.

But, if you structure your workout properly, you can definitely maintain a good level, see fat loss take place, and still stay energized all week long.

Let’s look at what you should know.

Strength And Pilates Studio Training

First you have your strength training or pilates training sessions.  These are designed to boost muscular strength and increase your total lean mass, so will be quite intense in nature.

If you perform exercises for all main muscle groups in each session you do (a full body workout set-up), you should be doing these two to three times per week for optimal results.

Cardio Training

To add to your strength training, cardio training is another key element of your workout program plan.  Cardio is a little more variable and can be done anywhere from twice per week up to four or five times depending on the intensity level.

Just remember that you must have at least one day off to rest from all forms of intense activity, so make sure that is in place between your strength training and cardio training.

Yoga Lessons

Finally, yoga is another form of activity that you may choose to include in your exercise plan.  Unless you’re doing Bikram yoga or power yoga, which can be more intense, you can perform yoga as often as you like as it can actually help you recover faster from the workouts that you’re doing.

Many people find that this serves as the perfect form of exercise to do between their other workout sessions.

So all in all, you should exercise a minimum of four times per week – two strength workouts and two cardio workouts, but can exercise up to six times per week, adding in some yoga and additional cardio sessions from there.

Just remember to listen to your body as you do this and if it’s asking for rest – allow it to rest. That is vital for overall good recovery.


Spine, Space and Yoga

The spine is an incredible piece of your anatomy. You may not even think about it until it starts “talking” to you as you age or if you have suffered an injury. It is composed of 33 vertebrae, 24 which are separate and 9 that are fused together. The 24 vertebrae that start at the base of skull are given space with discs. These discs act like cushions to keep the vertebrae from pressing on the nerves that extend from them. The nervous system flows within your spinal column so that your body can get the messages it needs to function.

This backbone of yours not only enables you to stand up straight, walk, and practice yoga. It makes it possible for the messages necessary to be sent to the organs and glands to do their job to keep you in homeostasis. Gravity and aging can cause the precious space between each disc to become shorter and compress a nerve. As a result, back pain and a slew of medical problems can manifest depending on the disc and nerve that is affected. Prevention is key and yoga can help give the attention the spine needs to do its magic.

“Move it or lose it” philosophy is applicable to a lot of things…spine included. Make the conscious effort to breathe into your spine. You can simply be sitting, whether in a chair or on the mat, keep that spine straight and as you breathe, feel the rib cage expand and the “lift” in the upper back take place. When raising your arms to reach up high, breathe into the crevices of space you are creating. Every move or pose in yoga depends on the spine in some way. Doing your forward folds opens a lot of space between each vertebrae and disc. We all enjoy a little space and the spine is no exception.

When you do poses that arch the back in the opposite direction, such as bridge, you help strengthen the ligaments and tendons that surround the spine for support. You also increase flexibility which is beneficial to have at any age of life. The synovial fluid that lubricates your joints remains more fluid with movement.

Inactivity causes this “oil” of the body to get thicker which makes you feel stiffer. By practicing yoga, the synovial fluid remains more pliable. It does dissipate with age; however, the practice of yoga helps to decrease the loss and the consequences of inadequate fluid. Keeping that healthy space between the vertebrae and discs decreases the compression of the synovial fluid that helps everything move with ease.

Within that spine, you have 31 pairs of spinal nerves that start from the spinal cord. These nerves are the source of transmission of messages from the brain to the designated recipient. The compression of a nerve changes the message that was intended. Kind of gives a new perspective on the classic saying…”that is getting on my nerves”…everything needs its space.

It is important to take the time to learn a little more about how your body works. A little knowledge opens up more awareness of what is beneficial or detrimental for it. Set the intention when you practice next time to focus on what you’re feeling in the back with each move. Consciously breathe into the spine, be aware of the feeling as it bends forward or back, and observe how everything flows a little differently as a result.

Enjoy your space on your mat. Allow your spine to enjoy the space you create in certain moves. Enjoy the endless ripple effect of a strong, healthy spine. You might find yourself standing a bit taller after each practice.

Valerie’s site is Yoga Revelation visit it here.