How does resistance training benefit me?
Resistance training benefits people in many ways. The four most obvious physical consequences of resistance training are increased muscular strength, power, endurance and hypertrophy. Along with these changes are also many health benefits. First of all with continued resistance training you are almost guaranteed to live a longer healthy life. What I mean by this is that you are more likely to be able to live a more active lifestyle as you get older. You are less likely to end up in a nursing home or need some one to care for you when you get older. This not only benefits you but also your family.
Another important benefit of physical activity is decreased blood pressure. While you lift weights there is actually an increase in blood pressure but, with continued weight training your resting blood pressure is lowered.
Resistance training can also be a very important tool in relieving stress. As humans we have not evolved to deal with stress on a mental level. Through most of our existence there was no need to understand complicated educational skills or deal with the mental stresses of exams. We have evolved to adapt to physical stressors often referred to as the "Fight or Flight" response. Characteristics of this response are for example : sweaty palms, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, vomiting and diarrhoea. Other things that occur within the body when under stress are the release of hormones such as adrenaline. These hormones are produced to help people deal with physical stressors. When these hormones are not used up for some type of physical activity, they can have negative effects and work as toxins in the body. By doing physical activity or resistance training you can use up these toxins.
Other benefits that can be produced through resistance training are an increase in lean body mass. As your muscles grow they also help to metabolize fat because maintaining muscle takes allot of energy (calories).
Increased lean body mass will also produce many positive psychological effects such as increased self confidence. This may in turn result in increases sex appeal. Resistance training is also supposed to actually increase sex drive.
As you can see there are many benefits to adopting a good resistance training program. Along with a good nutritional diet, and a good cardiovascular fitness program you are likely to see many benefits from physical fitness and live a longer healthier life. (Principles taken from Greenburg, 1997).