Strength training is an exercise that involves the usage of resistance against the body’s muscles in order to increase the endurance, strength and mass of the body’s muscles. Strength training comprises of many different methods and techniques, but the basic principle behind each routine is the use of hydraulic forces and gravity to oppose the contraction of muscles. These exercises are also referred to as resistance training, but this is slightly different in that it uses elastic tension to provide the resistance although the two terms resistance training and strength training are often interchanged (Walker 106).
The main purpose of strength training is for workouts and physical fitness. However, while this is the dominant purpose of strength training, other functions like anti-aging have also been associated with strength training. Whatever the purpose, strength training has several factors that need to be considered before it is taken up. The exercises are to be done properly if the benefits of strength training are to be enjoyed by the individual (Fleck et al 56-59). At old age, this factor is highly stressed as it contributes to the success or failure of strength training (Poston 44). Other factors include the personal targets of the trainer, the amount of financial resources available for training and the continuity (Irene, Brein & Green 129).
Benefits of strength training
One of the benefits of strength training is the increase in body size and strength. People who undergo rigorous physical exercise and properly balanced diets experienced increased muscle sizes and increased strength. The training also increased the mobility among elderly people whose muscles have grown weak because of inactivity (Roig et al 27, 67-72). The decrease in body strength that is because of lack of strength training leads to a decrease in energy levels and body balance. This increases the rate of accidents especially among elderly people. This tremendous growth caused by exercise stimulates certain growth hormones as well as increased blood flow in the body. Among elderly people, the aim is not to increase the muscle size but its tone (Iliades 209).
Another benefit of strength training is disease control and prevention. Almost all health problems can be mitigated or eliminated by incorporating strength training and aerobics into the treatment plan. Cardiovascular, respiratory and excretion systems all stand to benefit from the increased blood flow that is a result of increased physical exercise (Degens 69, Kelso 124). It is highly recommended for patients having coronary complications or patients recovering from coronary treatment as it promotes faster healing. Strength exercise can also counter psychological and mental disorders like mood swings and depression by increase the secretion of hormones such as norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin (Seguin 67).
Strength training is also beneficial in that it is a safe and easy solution to obesity problems. Obese people have a higher percentage of body fat compared to lean mass. The intensive activities that involve almost every part of the human anatomy ensure that the excess fat deposits and unnecessary calories are burnt and replaced with lean muscles. This benefit is twofold in that it helps to fight obesity as well as keeping healthy. Strength training, therefore, enables an individual to lose weight while maintaining muscle mass that is pertinent in giving strength to an individual (Delavier, Fre?de?ric & Michael 29).
When human beings grow older, there is an increase in fat tissue and an accompanying decrease in the metabolic rate. Strength training raises the metabolic rate of an individual from the resting metabolic rate (RMR) and the Thermic Effect of Activity (TEA) to a higher rate than normal. Training increases the amount of calories that are consumed in the person’s RMR (Peluso et al line 23-29). Repeated strength training increases the energy expenditure that results in higher metabolism. This is the reason why people who exercise frequently have stronger cravings and stable digestive processes (Baechle 124).
Strength training is vital in maintaining physical flexibility. Flexibility is essential in maintaining body balance. It is also beneficial in avoiding injuries that occur due to accidents contributed by one’s own instability because of weak muscles that cannot hold, support or pull the body. Strength training helps in increasing flexibility by stretching the body’s muscles and tendons, increasing blood flow to the muscles as well as increasing muscle size and strength. Related to this point is the benefit of increased endurance. Strength training increases the stamina that will ultimately determine a persons’ ability to endure physical strain for long periods (Brown 49).
Rationale for participating in strength training
Strength training is a preferred form of keeping fit and healthy because it is cheap and affordable. Most of the exercises prescribed by trainers can be done without the use of expensive equipment, special instructions and people (Manocchia 230 – 32). Strength training also does not require unique quarters or offices in which to perform the different routines. The ease of performing these exercises is increased as one can engage in other activities while still doing the routines for instance biking or jogging while making deliveries to different customers. This cannot be compared to medical methods of reducing pain, excess body fat or stress that may be expensive and may require highly trained experts (Draps?in, et al 37-42).
Apart from these benefits, strength training has an all-round effect on the lives of the people who engage in it. People who exercise frequently have an increased in mental activity including higher cognitive activity and attentiveness as compared to inert people. This has bee noted in a study of children’s physical activity where most of the children that were physically active also performed better at academic activities such as solving mathematical problems (Nelson 14).
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