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Discover the Benefits of Strength Training and Why You Need It!

Not only will strength training leave you feeling good, it does a whole lot on the inside as well - it lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes, strengthens bones, increases muscle mass and even improves brain health. Additionally, it is muscle mass that helps you maintain a healthy weight as you age, as muscles help to burn more calories by increasing your metabolic rate.

Power-Up: What is strength training and why should you do it?

  • Develop strong bones: By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Manage your weight: Strength training can help you manage or lose weight, and it can increase your metabolism to help you burn more calories.
  • Enhance your quality of life: Strength training may enhance your quality of life and improve your ability to do everyday activities. Strength training can also protect your joints from injury. Building muscle also can contribute to better balance and may reduce your risk of falls. This can help you maintain independence as you age.
  • Manage chronic conditions: Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, such as arthritis, back pain, obesity, heart disease, depression and diabetes.
  • Sharpen your thinking skills: Some research suggests that regular strength training and aerobic exercise may help improve thinking and learning skills for older adults.

The Different Types of Strength Training

The main types of strength training include:

  • Body weight: using your own body weight and the force of gravity to perform various movements (e.g., pushups, squats, planks, pullups, and lunges) exercise such as yoga and Pilates is also considered body weight exercise.
  • Free weights: equipment not bound to the floor or a machine, such as dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, or objects around the house
  • Resistance/loop bands: rubber bands that provide resistance when stretched
  • Weight machines: machines with adjustable weights or hydraulics attached to provide resistance and stress to the muscles
  • Suspension equipment: consists of ropes or straps that are anchored to a sturdy point in which a person uses their body weight and gravity to perform various exercises

Muscle strengthening adaptations occur broadly via two mechanisms:

  • Increased overall muscle size including individual muscle fiber enlargement, and;
  • Neurological adaptations which include learning and coordination.

In the early weeks of resistance training an increase in strength is seen mainly due to these neurological adaptations before any improvements in muscle size. In the first 2-3 weeks of training you will see an initial increase in strength. You will become better able to overcome more resistance which in turn results in greater muscle mass improvements. Whilst strength improvements occur relatively early, increase in muscle mass usually occurs around the 6 week mark.

Committing to Your Goal 

One of the most rewarding things about strength training is how quickly you will notice results

Make sure you are consistent by keeping a record or schedule and staying accountable so that you maintain your results and take your newfound strength into older age - that is where it is really going to mean a world of difference. 

It is encouraged that you seek guidance if you are starting strength training for the first time or after a break from training, injury or pregnancy. There are modifications that can be made to most exercises to enable you, from whatever ability you are starting from, to achieve great results. If you are looking to join a gym make sure it is a gym with trainers that will support and encourage you to safely reach your goals.

Although it might seem hard at first, rest assured it will come to feel great as strength training strengthens your mind as well as your body. Not only will you feel stronger and more capable in your body but it will leave you less anxious, in a better state of mind - and ready for whatever challenge is next!

Become The Healthiest Version of Yourself

By analysing your lifestyle and your blood biomarker levels, the WellBeing Test provides personalised insights into how you can improve your health. Discover the factors that might be holding you back, and get practical recommendations on how to optimise your daily habits to get fitter and stronger.

The WellBeing Test is easy and convenient - you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Choose the testing schedule that suits you, order your testing kit online, collect a finger-prick blood sample, and mail it back to our laboratory in a pre-paid envelope. Your lifetime secure online account will contain your results, giving you the information you need to make informed decisions about your health and fitness.

Take the WellBeing Test as the first step towards a fitter, healthier you.

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