I remember when I first discovered the true and immediate transformation that one exercise session has on your physiology. I mean for 72 hours or so, you become a completely different human being.
Your blood sugar stabilizes. Your bad cholesterol goes down and your good cholesterol goes up.
You rid yourself of cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. The stress chemicals that seep into you and your soul each and every time you experience even just a little bit of stress. Cortisol in particular can be devastating because it promotes storage of extra fat in your belly, where it can more easily go to work on wreaking havoc for your blood sugar and arteries.
Exercise is simply amazing in its ability to produce an immediate elixir to this cascade of calamity in your blood and body.
Exercise in the form of strength training is even more powerful on its own and that’s what I plan to cover in this series of posts.
Let’s start today with a simple list of strength training benefits and that way as I add more of the story for each, you can check back to this post and click the live links to further explanation and elaboration.
- rebuilding muscle
- recharging metabolism
- reducing fat
- reducing resting blood pressure
- improving blood lipip profiles (your cholesterol)
- enhancing post coronary performance – after a heart attack or some other ishemic or disease event related to your heart directly
- reisting diabetes – by helping stablizize your blood sugar by demanding more from your muscles and body
- increasing bone density
- decreasing physical discomfort – strength training is terrific for your joints, as one example
- enhancing mental health
- revitalizing muscle cells – which means more of you is alive and well and working and thriving
- Reversing physical frailty
- combating cancer
- enhanced athletic performance from your tennis and golf games to whatever it is you like to do to release your inner bohemian athlete
Take a quick second right now to bookmark this post. I’m committed to this list and have been excited to start this series of posts for quite some time now. I’m only one nomad, so I can’t get to everything at once 🙂
Before I go, I do want to leave you with a quick thought or two about how strength training helps you stay leaner over the years. Especially when you’re over 50. And again, that podcast I keep mentioning is a good one. I’ll just include it again here too…
The science on the subject shows us the critical cause-and-affect relationship between muscle loss and fat gain. You can refer back to the podcast I did on this subject if you like. I always like to clearly emphasize this point when discussing the benefits of strength training because on the surface, the numbers don’t seem that devastating, but when you dive into the details, you will see that the muscle you lose each decade is one of the primary things working against you when it comes to staying leaner as you age.
Unless you perform some type of muscle strengthening activity, you will lose about 5 pounds (2.3 kg) of lean (muscle) weight every decade of adult life (Frontera et al. 2000). This reduced your resting metabolic rate by 3% per decade (Keys et al. 1973).
This reduced the number of calories you burn each day whether you are exercising or not, and causes your body to store more of those unburned calories as fat.
Remember, resting metabolism accounts for approximately 70 percent of the calories used every day, as such, metabolic slowdown is a major factor in fat gain during aging (Wolfe 2006).
A great article I found along the way. This research was led by one of my favorite long-time scientists for strength training, Wayne Westcott, PhD.