Strength training has muscled its way past the domain of bodybuilding. Recent studies have done much to prove that the benefits of weight training go far beyond merely improving the physique by bulking up muscles and improving skeletal conditions.
These studies suggest that maintaining lean muscle mass may aid in the recovery of patients suffering from kidney dialysis, improve the cognitive functions of older people, reduce depression, stimulate the use of good cholesterol, aid in the recovery of patients suffering from breast cancer and even lower the risk of diabetes.
“Our Muscular system is the largest metabolically active organ in the human anatomy, that is the fundamental point people tend to forget,” says Cal State Monterrey Bay’s director of exercise physiology Kent Adams. “Strengthening the muscles has a kind of ripple effect that begins to unwind problems like obesity and metabolic syndrome.”
“Until recently muscle training was limited those in the athletic profession, in the last 20 years however the popularity of the activity and its benefits has spread to everyone seeking improved physical conditions”, says Jeffrey Potteiger, another exercise physiologist working out of Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Grand Valley State University. Jeffrey Potteiger is also an associate of the American College of Sports Medicine. “One can argue that not getting any fitness training throughout your life could cost you many helpful assets to the aging process or the battle with weight gain,” he says.
Muscle mass begins to diminish when we hit middle age, it can diminish as much as one percent a year in a natural process referred to as sarcopenia in the medical community. After the onset of menopause women are increasingly likely to experience loss of bone structure as they age. Here again is where studies show the long-term benefits of weight training to build stronger muscles and increase bone mass.
Improve your Heart Condition
Although cardio vascular training is the apparent champion for cardio fitness, muscle training can benefit the heart in ways its vigorous relative cannot. “During a cardiovascular workout the heart is beating faster and sending blood throughout the body; it greatly improves its ability to do exactly that,” says Jeffrey Potteiger.
During resistance training, however, the muscles are generating more force than they would during an endurance workout, and the heart is not an exception, says Potteiger. During strength training, though, the heart muscle expands and contracts forcefully when pumping blood to the exercised muscle. As muscles do, stress causes the muscle to rip its fibers this is the same with the heart. After the tears in the muscle fabric are repaired the result is stronger muscles or in the case of the heart, a stronger heart not one that merely beats harder for longer.
Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
One other big advantage of committing to a strength routine is enhancing glucose metabolism, a good way to minimize the risk of diabetes. Strength training can increase the proteins that remove the glucose in the blood and deliver it to the muscular system, increasing muscular energy and also eliminating the levels of glucose in the blood.
– Having uncontrolled glucose levels in the blood can lead to certain types of kidney damage, not to mention damage to the circulatory system and also eyesight,î says Jeffrey Potteiger.
– Gain the Upper hand on the fight with Dialysis, Live Longer.
And the health benefits donít end there either, in a 2010 clinical study published in the American Society of Nephrology’s Clinical Journal, it is suggested that having a solid base of muscle mass can be greatly beneficial to recovery of patients suffering from dialysis. Researchers found that dialysis patients with greater amounts of lean muscle – according to a test that measures the circumference of the mid-arm muscle – were 37 percent more likely to recover than those with little lean muscle mass.
“This is important to survival,” says the principal researcher at the LA Biomedical Research Institute Dr. Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, “It’s no longer a question of looking good or competing in feats of strength. What we are talking about here is the difference between a healthy life and an early grave.”
Even those who may already be suffering from chronic kidney conditions will benefit from a rigorous training program. Way back in 1995 German dialysis treatment centers began to include exercise equipment into their facilities. In 2004 a study printed in the American Journal of Kidney diseases proposed that exercise may be a healthy complement to successful dialysis treatment; by increasing blood flow to the muscles and enhancing phosphate removal.
Improved muscle condition may also have positive effects on the brains function as well. Women ages 65 to 70 who participated in biweekly resistance training over the course of a year as a test conducted by the Archives of Internal Medicine 2010 were found to have improved their cognitive performance considerably. Those women who were committed to and endurance program declined slightly.
The reason for this improvement according to researchers is that strength training increases the amounts of protein to build muscles, these proteins are also highly beneficial the stimulation of brain growth.
In Summary, modern medical studies have gone a long way to prove how the benefits of strength training go far beyond functional and esthetic improvement; the long-term benefits of a resistance routine can be your greatest ally as you age. With a solid muscular support, you will be able to live active and strong for many years to come.