What regular strength training does to the body

Like endurance sports, strength training has health-promoting effects on the body. Exercise with weights not only promotes muscle building. It can also protect against various diseases.

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Regular strength training makes the muscles stronger and more resilient. You do not necessarily need a gym with a weight bench and massive weights for this. Muscle strength can also be trained with gymnastic exercises at home – either with your own body weight or with small dumbbells, rubber bands and balls. But that is not the only positive effect.

What does strength training do for the immune system?

Anyone who regularly challenges their muscles stimulates their immune system. The load on the muscles triggers different whole body reactions: the immune system, metabolism and the hormonal system are stimulated. The body releases anti-inflammatory messenger substances and the formation of immune cells in the blood is stimulated by the release of adrenaline.

Regular sporting stimuli on the body also lead to a training effect: The body’s defenses become stronger and work more and more effectively. Recreational athletes are significantly less likely to catch a cold than untrained people.

With strength training against cancer

Regular strength training even has a cancer-protective effect. As reported by the Cancer Information Service (KID) at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), physically active people are statistically less likely to develop certain cancers than the average population. But why is that? According to cancer experts, the sport’s anti-inflammatory effect plays an important role.

Exercise counteracts chronic inflammatory processes in the body that have a detrimental effect on the immune system and the body’s own DNA repair mechanisms. More research is needed to understand exactly how exercise counteracts cancer development.

The weight loss effect of strength training

Strength training also supports the fight against extra pounds. Muscle building supports weight loss in two ways: On the one hand, the body itself needs energy for strength training and burns 200 to 300 kilocalories every half hour. On the other hand, the muscles continue to draw energy even after training: for growth, regeneration and muscle supply.

The more muscle a person has, the more energy they burn – even when sitting on the couch. Roughly speaking, every kilogram of muscle mass burns between 50 and 100 extra kilocalories a day. Strength training helps to promote a normal body weight.

Reduce the risk of diabetes with strength training

Blood sugar levels can also be regulated with strength training. As the German Diabetes Aid reports, strengthened muscles ensure better sugar metabolism and more efficient fat burning. Insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion are increased during muscle work. This not only helps prevent diabetes mellitus.

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Diabetic patients also benefit from their muscles. Muscle activity lowers blood sugar, blood fat and blood pressure. Some diabetic patients manage to reduce their medication dose with the help of regular exercise. According to diabetes experts, weight training is particularly effective when combined with endurance sports.

Strength training reduces the risk of falling

The plus in the muscles that results from regular strength training has another benefit: Muscle tissue supports the skeleton and makes the body stronger and more resilient. In addition, strength training has an activating and protective effect on joints, tendons and ligaments – and activates the formation of bone tissue. The risk of injury and fall decreases, back pain and osteoporosis are prevented.

The Federal Self-Help Association for Osteoporosis emphasizes, “Strength before endurance. No strong muscles, no strong bones.” Studies have shown that regular strength training of at least two workouts per week can achieve an increase in bone density of up to twelve percent.

More independence in old age through strength training

With increasing age, regular strength training also helps to cope with everyday life more easily. Strong muscles make it easier to, for example, go up stairs, carry shopping bags and open bottles. Older people create a valuable plus in independence with regular muscle training.

Lower blood pressure with strength training?

As the German Hypertension League emphasizes, strength training in addition to endurance training helps prevent and treat high blood pressure. Although there is a marked increase in blood pressure during strength training, the long-term effects on blood pressure are positive when the exercises are performed correctly.

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It is important during exercise that the upper blood pressure value does not exceed 200 mmHg. To achieve a positive effect on blood values, patients with high blood pressure should do the exercise at least twice a week, the experts advise.

cardiovascular disease? Train your strength wisely

The German Heart Foundation recommends that beginners in sports, patients with chronic diseases and patients with cardiovascular disease, should have their doctor determine their individual stress limit at the beginning of strength training. Subsequent training should be based on the doctor’s recommendation and carried out under expert guidance to avoid mistakes.

According to Hjertefonden, a typical training error is forced breathing. This can lead to unwanted increases in blood pressure, as the heart then has to pump blood out into the body against increased resistance. How athletes avoid forced breathing, and how good breathing technique works, can be learned, for example, under the supervision of a physiotherapist or experienced trainer.

(Ann-Kathrin Landzettel / t-online, mra)

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Like endurance sports, strength training has health-promoting effects on the body. Exercise with weights not only promotes muscle building. It can also protect against various diseases.

Regular strength training makes the muscles stronger and more resilient. You do not necessarily need a gym with a weight bench and massive weights for this. Muscle strength can also be trained with gymnastic exercises at home – either with your own body weight or with small dumbbells, rubber bands and balls. But that is not the only positive effect.

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