To strength train means to get stronger; everyone knows that. But, did you know that to strength train also means to reduce your risk of diabetes, lower your blood pressure, nip depression in the bud, and even sleep better at night? If you strength train for just two or three days a week, for just twenty minutes per session, you can these benefits and more. That’s right, you can strength train successfully in just an hour per week, and the rewards can improve your quality of life, and your health, dramatically. Read on to learn about the science behind these top five reasons to strength train.
Strength Train For Diabetes Prevention
Subjects who strength train have been shown to be substantially less likely to develop adult-onset (Type 2) diabetes. The research results are conclusive, and intuitive as well: when you strength train, your muscles take sugar out of your bloodstream and use it for energy, which reduces your overall blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes is in part caused by continuous high blood sugar over time, so when you strength train regularly, you take that risk factor out of the equation. In one study, some subjects who strength train were shown to metabolize nearly 25% more glucose (sugar) than those who did not strength train. When you strength train, you’re keeping your blood sugar in check, which means you’re keeping diabetes at bay.
Strength Train For Your Heart
When you strength train, you improve the condition and resilience of your heart muscle, protecting it from stress by keeping it strong. When your heart is in great condition, your blood pressure is more likely to stabilize at a healthy level, which reduces your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Researchers at the University of Arizona found that patients with an unhealthy, elevated resting blood pressure were actually able to strength train their bodies back to a healthy blood pressure rating! When you strength train, you’re making an investment in a stronger heart.
Strength Train For Your Emotional Health
A Harvard University study showed that chronically depressed people who strength train as part of their health regimen emerge from depression more quickly than those who don’t. Experts in the field suggest that if you strength train, you are more resilient when faced with emotional difficulties, so if you strength train you are likely to feel less anxiety in a stressful situation. Put that all together, and you’ll see that it makes plenty of sense to strength train for your emotional health. When you strength train, you’re helping both your body and your mind bounce back from stress and strain.
Strength Train For Your Bones
The exact numbers are sure to vary based on your age, weight, and the amount that you strength train, but the overall facts are clear: although bones naturally decrease in mass over time, regular strength training helps maintain and increase bone density. One University of Arizona study showed that people who strength train can increase bone density in their spines and hips by up to three percent in as little as eighteen months! When you strength train, you’re actually halting, and may even be able to reverse, the aging process that wears away bone.
Strength Train For Your Sleep Cycle
In one study, researchers at Tufts University found that patients with minor sleep difficulties were more likely to fall asleep and stay asleep if they strength train. After just three months, sixty percent of the patients said that they slept longer and better. This may mean that to strength train is to take a bite out of insomnia, but the sample studied was a small one, and more work needs to be done. The evidence that we do have suggests that when you strength train, you are doing your sleep cycle a favor.