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  1. Lean Muscular Body with Increased Metabolism 

If your goal is a lean muscular body, your exercise regimen will benefit from strength training because it speeds up your metabolism faster than other forms of exercise. Consistent strength training builds muscle, which will increase the number of calories you burn while resting. The more muscles you gain, the faster your metabolism, and the faster your metabolism, your body becomes more efficient at burning stored fat. This is because muscle is a metabolically expensive tissue so in order to keep muscle, muscles require more calories than fat and so you burn more calories at rest. 

If you’re a woman and concerned about getting ‘bulky’, the likelihood of getting bulky by just strength training alone is slim to none. Women in general have a harder time putting on muscle because they have less testosterone than men. In addition, in order to bulk and put on muscle, you would need to significantly increase the number of calories you eat. As a woman, if you are not intentionally increasing calories, strength training will increase your metabolism, thereby promoting a lean muscular body, not a bulky figure. 

  1. Improves Cognitive Function 

All exercise increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is referred to as Miracle-Gro for neurons in the brain because it induces nerve cell growth and proliferation of cells. Exercise upregulates BDNF in the hippocampus after training, which positively influences mood states, learning, memory and even reduces depression. Due to BDNF’s protective benefits of neurons and its ability to reduce memory loss, exercise is beneficial to slow cognitive decline due to aging. 

  1. Improves Mood & Reduces Symptoms of Depression

In addition to looking great, exercise makes you feel good too. Commonly referred to as runner’s high, or an endorphin rush, exercise promotes an improvement in mood. Multiple studies have also shown that exercise is effective to reduce symptoms of depression. One study in particular including more than 1,800 subjects found that those with mild to moderate depression experienced a significant reduction in their symptoms as a result of resistance training for a minimum of two days a week. 

  1. Gain Confidence 

Aesthetically, strength training will develop self-confidence because you are likely to feel proud of your progress. As a result of consistent strength training you will stand up straighter, move swiftly, and will lift things with ease. In addition to the aesthetic influence on self-confidence, one of the most effective ways to increase self-confidence is maintaining integrity with yourself. It is as simple as following through on things when you say you will do them. When you say you will wake up early to exercise and you follow through, you gain confidence. When you say you will do all 20 repetitions and you follow through, you gain confidence. The reverse can backfire, when you don’t do things you say you will do, you may encourage behaviour of bad habits. If you don’t wake up early and go to the gym you may be more likely to eat unhealthy foods because you already fell through on your promise to yourself. 

  1. Reinforces a Strong Mindset 

Developing determination, willpower, discipline, resiliency, commitment and consistency will create momentum in your life and you will be more confident and willing to take on more outside of your exercise regimen. When you are determined to push yourself to do things you don’t want to do in the gym, you develop willpower specifically for exercise, but it also spreads out to other aspects of your life. When you develop discipline with your exercise regimen you become more likely to take on uncomfortable or challenging things outside of the gym that you normally wouldn’t have taken on before. When you push through the hard things in the gym and develop resiliency you find it easier to bounce back from adversities in your life because you’ve developed a strong mindset for overcoming difficult things. Commitment and consistency in the gym means you are more likely to commit to and be consistent with other healthy and productive habits.  

  1. Feel Empowered

When you’ve developed a strong mindset, consistent exercise will empower you because you will physically feel stronger and you will mentally feel stronger. You will feel assurance in everything you do. With strength, you will feel more powerful and may even gain independence. 

  1. Strengthen Immune System 

Humans suffering from cancer or severe illness and infections have a vulnerable immune system, experience drastic weight loss and a decrease in muscle. A recent study showed that in comparison to weak mice, mice with more muscle mass were more able to cope with chronic viral infection. This study has implications for humans on whether more muscle mass increases our ability to fight off illness and infections. In regards to other health conditions, exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes

  1. Removes Toxins by Improving Lymphatic Fluid Flow

The fluid in the lymphatic system is responsible for removing waste and toxins from bodily tissues. Aerobic exercise improves lymphatic function because it stimulates the movement of lymphatic fluid. One study showed steady-state exercise increased the flow of lymphatic fluid about 2-3 times higher compared to rest. 

  1. Intervention for Brain Aging

Exercise is an effective intervention for aging because it supports mechanisms which maintain optimal neuronal function. Specifically, it slows down age-related decline in neuronal metabolic capacity. In addition, because exercise improves the cardiovascular system it maintains cardiovascular support for neuronal metabolism

  1.  Strengthen Bones

Strength training builds and preserves muscle and additionally can help preserve bone mass. Stronger bones are beneficial to prevent fractures and to prevent osteoporosis. 

If you want to reap the benefits of exercise and weight training, it is not the case that you need to join a gym and spend three hours in the weight area. If you’re new to exercise, starting with walking has benefits. Even walking after a meal has been shown to promote weight loss. Strength training however will get you the most bang for your buck. The good news is that strength training can easily be done at home, you can use your bodyweight as resistance and can even use a laundry detergent bottle or a bag of canned goods as a weight.