In the United States, according to a study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 21.9% of men and 17.5% of women engage in strength training.
Considering the many benefits strength training provides, these numbers are extremely low. It has been a national health objective by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the CDC to increase the number of people who regularly participate in strength training at least two times a week or more.
Are you part of the group of people who does strength train at least twice per week, head to toe?
To choose to change a certain behavior, such as starting to strength train, you need to know more about it. Look at some of the many benefits that strength training provides according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE):
- Increased strength of bones, muscles and connective tissue
- Decreased risk of injuries
- Increased basal metabolic rate (BMR), which helps maintain a healthy body weight
- increased energy level
- Enhanced quality of life (daily chores and tasks become easier)
In order to ‘be strong’ we must remember that it is essential to strength train all major muscle groups:
- Lower body: gastrocnemius, hamstrings, quadriceps
- Core: pelvic floor, abdominals, obliques, erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, gluteus maximus
- Upper body: trapezius, rhomboids, deltoids, pectorals, biceps, tripceps
There are also many myths about strength training, such as: ‘You have to have a gym membership to strength train’ or ‘Strength training is only for men, not for women’ or ‘You must use large pieces of equipment to see results’.
There are many ways to strength train without spending lots of money, and you can do it in the comfort of your own home or even outdoors. Strength training is beneficial for both men and women, young and old. Here are some ideas for inexpensive, convenient and fun ways to strength train:
Complete fitness includes regular strength training and the benefits are amazing. The older you get, the more essential it becomes to ‘be strong’ for a qualitative lifestyle (use it or lose it)!
You are never too old to start! You can make a positive choice today to become strong by beginning a regular strength training routine!