Strength training, sometimes called resistance training, involves strengthening muscles by contracting them against a resisting force. That can include bodyweight exercises, dumbells, resistance bands, machines, or barbells. There are a lot of ways to implement strength training and here is why you should:
1. Build Muscle
This is an obvious one, but you build muscle and become faster and stronger which can improve your ability to do many daily living activities like carrying all the groceries or playing with your kids. It also improves your performance on things like biking, hiking, and running.
2. Improve Body Image/Confidence
It improves confidence to see yourself improve with specific exercises and to feel strong both in the gym and doing everyday tasks. You get to see yourself set a goal and work towards it to improve self-efficacy. Strength training is also key for any sort of body composition goal whether it's losing fat or looking more lean and toned. Having more muscle mass supports having a healthy metabolism and strength training (along with nutrition) makes it so that as you lose weight, you're losing fat instead of muscle mass.
3. Improved Mood
Research has shown that strength training can help with anxiety and can improve your mental health. I know I always feel better and ready to take on the day after a good workout. When you exercise, you release endorphins, which can put you in a good mood. You know that part in Legally Blonde where she's like "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy." Well, she wasn't wrong!
4. Increased Energy Levels
Those endorphins that are released also help with energy levels and help you feel more "mentally sharp" or focused. Exercise also helps you sleep more soundly, so you're better rested and have more energy.
5. Reduce The Risk Of Injury
Strength training improves your range of motion, flexibility, and mobility. You build strong muscles around major joints that can protect you from injuries from everything from giving your kid a piggyback ride to running a 5k.