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Should you strength train?

sport-fitness-workout-resolution-largeWhen it comes to fitness, the past few years have seen many new trends emerge. As with body shapes, there is a bit of what ‘in fashion,’ in terms of exercise, so it can be hard to decide what workout will be best for you.

Firstly, any exercise is better than none. If you can fit in 10 minutes a day, then that’s a good start – if you can find two 10 minutes blocks a day, so much the better. For general health, we should all be trying to move in some way every day, but at the very least, aim for 30 minutes, three times per week.

Specific types of exercise have some great benefits, and strength training is one. Strength training is exercise that uses some form of resistance; either your own body weight, weights at the gym or portable exercise equipment.

Many of the overall life enhancing benefits of exercise can be gained through strength training, but there are some specific benefits that make adding some resistance to your workout worthwhile.

  • Regular strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Strength training can assist with weight management as it can increase your metabolism which will help you burn more calories.
  • Strength training makes your life easier by improves your ability to do a range of everyday activities by keeping you active and strong.
  • Stronger muscles help with balance, which can reduce risk of falls.

Strength training does not mean getting bulky or lifting weights for hours on end – you simply need to make the most of progression. ‘Progression’ simply means that as you get stronger you are able to do more and lift more weights, and should do so to continue to get improvements.

Getting started, and making improvements is also where an exercise professional comes in. By getting advice from someone who is qualified and experienced, you can make sure the exercises you choose are the best fit for your exercise and fitness level.

Many people find using a dedicated exercise facility (like a gym or exercise studio) is the way to go to do their strength training. They will have a range of equipment you wouldn’t have available otherwise, and help is on hand when you need it.

However, if you are looking at working out at home, the easiest resistance is your own bodyweight. Whether it’s squats, lunges, pushups or one of the endless variety of exercises, there’s no reason you can’t get your exercise by using you.

At the end of the day, some form of strength training will have a range of benefits and is one of the most efficient forms of exercise in terms of intensity, results and health benefits.