I'll start by stating that any form of physical exercise is good for you. Don't take this as an excuse to not do cardio or that yoga class you've always said you'll do but haven't. Do those too! The point of this blog post is to point out the specific physical and mental benefits of strength training.
• Increased strength (go figure) - hello PBs and the ease of everyday physical activities.
• Lean muscle growth - paired with the correct nutrition it is absolutely possible to gain muscle whilst losing fat.
• Burn calories - you will find that your metabolism will spike once you start strength training. Maintaining muscle uses up more calories than maintaining fat.
• Supports bone structure and increases bone density - protect your future self from joint pain.
• Can help manage postural imbalances/abnormalities - for example; scoliosis, lordosis and kyphosis can all be managed and with mild cases sometimes even reversed with the appropriate strength training. I have personally seen improvements in my own posture since being told I had kyphosis and adapting my training to suit.
• Your cognitive function improves and degeneration slows - think better mental clarity and focus
• Stress reliever - as strange as it sounds, physical stress can greatly relieve mental stress as your body releases endorphins whilst training.
• Builds confidence - I would say 80% of my clients start out with me too scared to go into the weights section of the gym and train with the "big boys". I've got 100% success rate in changing their mindset so far. My little secret once they're confident with their lifts and they need a final little boost of confidence is to tell them to watch the "big boys" lift weights (obviously on the sly) and the facial expressions or noises that come out of them whilst doing so. If that doesn't give you confidence and make you have a laugh to yourself then I don't know what will.
• Feeling of accomplishment - it is a satisfying feeling when you hit a PB.
• Studies have found that there is a correlation in strength training and the decrease in mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.
So if you haven't started strength training now is the best time to start. All these benefits are waiting for you!