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Top 5 Health Benefits of Strength Training

Exercising muscle strength is an excellent way to improve health. What's more, you can strengthen your muscles in many different ways! It's not always necessary to go to the gym; you can also easily do exercises at home or outdoors that improve your health. But what health benefits can you get from strength training?

1. Increase in muscle mass

Did you know that after the age of 30, a person can lose 3-8% of their muscle mass over the following decade? The older you get, the faster muscle mass declines. Decreased muscle mass can contribute to conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Muscle mass itself promotes good health! (1)

2. Strength increases across all age groups

With age, a person's strength levels decline, which can make walking, daily chores, and overall functionality more challenging. However, research shows that even the elderly benefit from strength training. Mayer et al. (2011) studied the effects of strength training in a nursing home, where the residents had an average age of 89 years. After a 2-week strength training period, participants' strength levels increased by an average of up to 60%, and their weight increased by nearly 2 kilograms. Strength training, combined with balance exercises, also improves the balance of the elderly and reduces the risk of falls. (1,2,5)

3. Prevents cardiovascular diseases

Studies suggest that resistance training is as effective as aerobic exercise in preventing cardiovascular diseases. Benefits include better body composition, lower resting heart rate, and reduced abdominal fat. (1,3)

4. Strength training improves mental health

Research has shown that strength training alleviates symptoms in individuals suffering from anxiety and depression. Additionally, resistance training improves self-esteem and cognitive abilities in older adults. (1,4)

5. Strength training helps with various pains

The impact of strength training on various pains, such as lower back pain, migraines, and arthritis, has been studied, and it has been found that for many individuals, exercise helps alleviate pain. However, there is currently no specific exercise or training program that is scientifically proven to be better than another for pain relief. The most important thing is to start training at levels and goals that are enjoyable for you, as this will help maintain motivation. If you feel you need help or guidance with your workouts, contact a competent professional in the field. (6,7,8)

Ilari Keckman

Osteopath, sports massage therapist & educator

Joonas Virtanen

Osteopath, sports massage therapist & strength coach

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