Your New Workout Plan: Five Reasons To Begin Strength Training Today

Sometimes the terms ‘weight lifting’ or ‘strength training’ can seem intimidating and conjure up images of buff men pumping iron. Don’t be fooled – or scared – by this notion! When done right, strength training can help you lead a much healthier life.

Karen Sutton, sports medicine surgeon at HSS.
Karen Sutton, sports medicine surgeon at HSS. Photo Credit: Hospital for Special Surgery

Strength training can come in all shapes and sizes – you could attend a CrossFit or Boot Camp class, perform bodyweight exercises at home or hop in the pool for some resistance exercises.

Not convinced yet? Here are five benefits to strength training:

1. Increase your quickness and agility. By growing your muscle strength, you will see more power and endurance.

2. Improve your metabolism. Strength training will increase your resting metabolic rate, which is the ability to burn calories while lounging around. It’s also a great addition to any weight-loss program.

3. Be HAPPY! Resistance training improves your ability to handle stress. It also allows you to get a better night’s rest as you will fall asleep quicker and deeper, and can sharpen your focus and improve your attention span.

4. Prevent bone loss or osteoporosis. As we age, our bones can become soft and brittle. As they naturally respond to stress, strength training (acting as a type of stress) forces the bones to become thicker and stronger. Bones are alive and constantly remodeling - the more weight training you do, the stronger your bones will be overall!

5. Reduce back and leg injuries. Muscles help to soften the pressure that your joints feel - many injuries can be traced back to neglected muscles. By improving your muscle strength, you will help align your shoulders, back, hips and knees to their proper position.

It is important to start slowly and increase weights in a controlled fashion, especially if you are new to strength training. Working with a coach will train you to use the correct amount of weight and have proper form. Now, get out there and start reaping the benefits of strength training!

Through HSS Orthopedics at Stamford Health, I am privileged to now be able to make world class care more convenient for Fairfield County residents. My office is at the HSS Stamford Outpatient Center at Chelsea Piers, and my colleagues and I perform surgeries at both Tully Health Center and Stamford Hospital.