March is upon us, and our focus at BDI this month is strength training.

Despite the many benefits of strength training, many people have a hard time getting started. The good news is it doesn’t have to be difficult to integrate a strength program into your routine. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of strength training and address barriers to entry and common misconceptions.

What is strength training?

Strength training is exercise that uses external resistance to make muscles stronger. From weightlifting to body weight exercises, there is a style of training for everyone. While the focus is to build strength and endurance, the benefits of strength training extend beyond stronger muscles.

What are the benefits?

The primary benefits of strength training are increasing the strength, endurance, and size of muscle, but there are many benefits beyond performance and appearance.

Fighting degenerative conditions

As we age, our bodies begin to weaken. Conditions such as sarcopenia and osteoporosis can cause many health challenges later in life. Sarcopenia is the wasting of muscle tissue and osteoporosis is the loss of bone mass. Both conditions are generally exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle. The positive stress from strength training helps with the preservation of muscle and bone.

Improving mental and cognitive health

Exercise does more than help build physical health. It can also help us with our mental health as well. It has been long understood that exercising releases endorphins that make us feel good. New research shows that it may also be beneficial for treating depression and other related mental health issues. Strength training can also help manage conditions that cause cognitive decline. Even more of a reason to maintain a life-long training habit!

Common misconceptions

Strength training has always been surrounded by an air of mystery. Because of this, outdated information and long-standing myths have persisted. Let’s bust some common misconceptions that often keep people from beginning strength training.

I’ll get too big/muscular/masculine

This misconception stems from the idea that lifting weights will make you big and bulky. What many people do not realize is that training alone does not make you bigger or stronger. A combination of strength training, recovery, and nutrition will ultimately influence the results. Depending on your goals, your team can guide you through these factors. At BDI we offer nutrition coaching to supplement your fitness training if you need any help with what to eat to help you reach your goals.

Lifting weights will make me stiff and slow

Lifting weights will not make you stiff and slow. It is important to warm up and cool down based on your needs and what your training entails. Stretching and foam rolling are important for recovery. With proper exercise technique, you may actually notice an increase in your range of motion! And while it’s true that injuries happen, the same is true for any other activity. To help with recovery, we offer a stretch and roll class that provides guided stretches and foam rolling techniques to keep you limber.

In the event a new ache or injury occurs, Body Dynamics offers OrthoTriage in which you will meet with one of our physical therapists to look at what ails you. These visits are very helpful in diagnosing and treating minor musculoskeletal aches and pains. If your injury appears more serious, OrthoTriage will make any referrals necessary.

Learn more about our urgent physical therapy clinic:

It’s only a good workout if you’re sore afterwards / every workout needs to be intense

Some soreness after a workout is natural, but soreness is not the ultimate measure of training. There are many ways to train, and they all have different benefits and effects. A good program will select exercises based on your needs and goals. When the intensity and volume are appropriate, they will move you towards your goals whether you feel sore or not. What’s more, soreness can sometimes be an indicator of poor recovery. Make sure you’re getting adequate rest, hydration, and nutrition before and after a session.

What’s the best way to get started?

While getting started can be intimidating, as you just read, strength training is worth the effort! If you are brand new to strength training, it’s a good idea to consult a fitness trainer. A responsible trainer will conduct a fitness physical to help determine your current level of fitness. Besides getting an understanding of your baseline, this type of physical can help with setting goals to focus your efforts.

Curious about fitness physicals at Body Dynamics? Certified fitness trainer Ashley Ching explains:

The time to start is now

Strength training is a fantastic way to support your health and well-being. At Body Dynamics Inc., we use different types of strength training to help our clients build strong bodies and lead active lives. From one-on-one sessions to small group classes, we have several ways to help you approach your fitness goals. If you don’t know where to begin, our Fit Start program provides both a fitness physical and a few personal training sessions to help you get started. If you haven’t been incorporating some form of strength training in your wellness program, now might be a great time to start.

Know More, Be Well with Body Dynamics!