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The Benefits of Strength Training

The benefits of strength training are far greater than most people realize, and the impact can go far beyond just giving you bulging biceps or a rock-hard stomach. Strength training increases your physical capacity, and by increasing the size and power of your muscles you will improve your physical and athletic performance. However, there many benefits to strength training beyond just taking your abilities to the next level of power.

The initial benefits of strength training come in conditioning and improving the tone of your muscles. We all know that greater muscle definition and increasing your body's muscle to fat ratio results in a fit, firm, healthful appearance. But, muscle tone is just one part of achieving this kind of visual result. One benefit of strength training is an increase in the metabolic rate: your body will burn more calories, thereby reducing body fat. Our bodies naturally lose muscle mass as we age, so strength training will help counter that decline and increase your body's metabolic efficiency.

In addition to boosting your metabolic rate, the benefits of strength training include increasing the density of your bones. Strength training has been shown to a help prevent osteoporosis, the thinning of the bones that is often a part of aging. Healthy muscles and joints cushion these bones and contribute to balance and dexterity, and another of the important benefits of strength training is that it will reduce your likelihood of injury. Other benefits of strength training are that you become more flexible and stable, centered and resilient. All of these qualities mean fewer falls, accidents, and sports injuries.

Strength training results in generalized health benefits beyond improving your metabolism and protecting yourself from injury. These additional benefits include reducing your cholesterol levels and lowering your blood pressure. You may also be minimizing your risk for diabetes by improving your body's glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, and even lowering your vulnerability to disease. Lowering your risk for heart disease, the number one killer in America, is an important effect that can result from a good strength training program.

While increasing your performance and energy, you may discover there are also psychological benefits of strength training. You will feel better because you look better, and more strength often means more energy as well. Becoming fit through strength training can reduce depression and anxiety and generally improve your mood. One of the greatest benefits of strength training is the increased confidence and sense of self that results from your efforts.

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