When properly performed, strength training can provide significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being, including increased bone, muscle, tendon and ligament strength and toughness, improved joint function, reduced potential for injury, increased bone density, increased metabolism, increased fitness, improved cardiac function, and improved lipoprotein lipid profiles, including elevated HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Training commonly uses the technique of progressively increasing the force output of the muscle through incremental weight increases and uses a variety of exercises and types of equipment to target specific muscle groups. Strength training is primarily an anaerobic activity, although some proponents have adapted it to provide the benefits of aerobic exercise through circuit training.
Important For Middle – Age and Older
Most older individuals are well aware that they need regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming, or running, to strengthen their heart and lungs and tone their bodies, but many dismiss weight training (also called resistance training) as an activity predominantly for the young or the vain. However, it is the only type of exercise that can substantially slow, and even reverse, the declines in muscle mass, bone density, and strength that were once considered inevitable consequences of aging. Unlike aerobic, or endurance, activities, which improve cardiovascular fitness and require moving large muscle groups hundreds of times against gravity, weights provide so much resistance that muscles gain strength from only a few movements. Resistance is usually provided by free weights or machines, but individuals can also get stronger by exercising in water.