If you’re looking to improve your overall health and fitness, strength training is an excellent place to start. Strength training can provide a wide range of benefits, including increased muscle mass, improved bone density, and increased metabolism. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into the benefits of strength training on metabolism and how it can help you achieve your health and fitness goals.
What is metabolism?
Before we get into the benefits of strength training on metabolism, let’s define what metabolism is. Metabolism is the process by which your body converts food into energy. It’s the rate at which your body burns calories and uses the energy from the food you eat. Your metabolism is influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, age, sex, and activity level.
How does strength training affect metabolism?
Strength training is a form of exercise that involves using resistance to build strength, endurance, and muscle mass. Strength training can include a variety of exercises, such as weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, and resistance band exercises. When you strength train, you create tiny tears in your muscle fibers. Your body repairs these tears during rest, and this repair process requires energy. As a result, your metabolism is elevated for a period of time after your workout.
In addition to the post-workout metabolic boost, strength training also increases muscle mass. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, which means it requires more energy to maintain. So, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest. This effect is known as the “afterburn” effect or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, EPOC can last up to 72 hours after a strength training workout.
Benefits of strength training on metabolism
- Increases resting metabolic rate: As mentioned above, strength training increases muscle mass, which in turn increases your resting metabolic rate. This means that you will burn more calories at rest, even when you’re not exercising.
- Boosts fat burning: Strength training has been shown to increase the body’s ability to burn fat for fuel. When you strength train, your body uses stored glycogen (carbohydrates) for energy. After your workout, your body continues to burn calories as it replenishes glycogen stores. This process can help your body tap into fat stores for energy.
- Prevents age-related decline in metabolism: As we age, our metabolism naturally slows down. This decline can lead to weight gain and a decrease in overall health. However, strength training has been shown to prevent age-related declines in metabolism. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, regular strength training can increase resting metabolic rate by up to 7%.
- Improves insulin sensitivity: Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance, a condition in which cells become less responsive to insulin, is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Strength training has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which can help prevent or manage type 2 diabetes.
- Enhances overall health: In addition to the metabolic benefits, strength training has a host of other health benefits. It can improve bone density, reduce the risk of injury, and improve mental health.
In conclusion, strength training is an excellent way to boost your metabolism and achieve your health and fitness goals. Not only does it increase muscle mass and resting metabolic rate, but it also improves insulin sensitivity, prevents age-related decline in metabolism, and enhances overall health. So, whether you’re looking to lose weight, improve your athletic performance, or just feel better in your own skin, strength training is a great place to start.