It’s tempting to see strength training as an exercise in vanity for a small subset of the population, but the truth is, everyone should be working to improve their strength. Once you start building muscle and becoming more capable of advanced physical feats, you’ll feel more confident, you’ll be healthier, and you’ll be capable of much more.
The Simplicity of Improving Strength
First, understand that improving your strength is much simpler than you may realize. If you’re just starting out, any amount of time you spend conditioning your strength can be valuable; even simple compound exercises like squatting, practiced frequently enough, can help you boost your overall strength in a matter of weeks.
For a more advanced program, you’ll need to work out a schedule where you rotate between different muscle groups of your body and plan on working out at least two or three times per week. You’ll also need to make sure to get plenty of rest, eat plenty of protein-rich foods, and progressively overload the amount of weight you use for each exercise.
Working with a personal trainer can help you achieve your strength goals, whether you’re a total amateur or are working to set a world record. But it’s not a strict requirement. Even basic body weight exercises and free weights, if used on a regular enough basis, can help you establish a baseline foundation of strength.
Benefits of Becoming Stronger
So what are the benefits of becoming stronger?
- Lifting and carrying. One of the most obvious benefits of being stronger is that you can handle practical tasks with greater ease and efficiency. Bringing in multiple bags of groceries is no longer a physically exhausting event. Climbing the stairs doesn’t leave you out of breath. If you have a small child, you can carry them around and play with them for a much longer period of time. And if you’re moving, or if you’re helping a friend move, you’ll be able to handle much more without pushing the limits of your stamina.
- Endurance and performance. Strength training can also improve your stamina and prepare you for performance in a wide range of different situations. If you like to play recreational sports, strength training can condition your body to be more athletic and more powerful. If you’re a dance or another professional in theatrical arts, your strength can be a great tool to help you move with grace and efficiency.
- Bone health. Studies show that regular weightlifting increases your bone mineral density and improves your overall bone health. That means as you age, you’ll be less susceptible to conditions like osteoporosis; your bones will be stronger and much more resilient to fracturing. This may not seem like a big deal to you, especially if you’re young and your bones are currently in good health. But when you’re older, you’ll be grateful that you spent time conditioning your body and making your skeleton healthier. If you’re part of a population that’s especially prone to bone deteriorating diseases, you should take this point even more seriously.
- Reduced susceptibility to injury and pain. People who work out regularly and improve their muscular strength have reduced susceptibility to injury and pain. You’re much less likely to injure yourself handling daily responsibilities, and chronic pain becomes much less of an issue.
- Stress relief. Physical exercise is one of the best ways of relieving stress. At the end of a long day of work, or a difficult personal issue, working out with heavy weights could be exactly what you need to feel better. It’s one of many reasons why people who exercise regularly, building their strength in the process, tend to live longer and healthier lives.
- Attractiveness and image. Generally speaking, physically fit people are seen as more attractive. Even marginal improvements in your strength, along with regular exercise, can help you stay in good shape and be more attractive to the people around you. Whether you’re looking for a romantic relationship or just more social influence, this can be helpful.
- Confidence and self-esteem. It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that people who lift weight regularly tend to have higher confidence and self-esteem. When you know that you’re stronger than you’ve ever been before, you’re less threatened by external dangers. You feel like you look more attractive and you carry yourself with more authority.
These are just some of the benefits you’re going to see if you make your body stronger with regular workouts. If you find you like lifting weights, or if you are inspired to become more ambitious because of your early success, there are many different directions you can go to improve yourself further. Experimenting with different workout routines and different exercises can help you challenge yourself in new ways and stay stimulated as you keep pushing the limits of your own strength.