Specific Benefits of Resistance Training

by Galen A. Morton, MA and Len Kravitz, PhD on Jul 01, 2016

It’s not exactly news that physical activity and exercise have powerful health benefits. Indeed, it’s an insight almost as old as recorded history.

In the fifth century BC, the famous Greek physician Hippocrates observed, “All parts of the body, if used in moderation and exercised in labors to which each is accustomed, become thereby healthy and well developed and age slowly; but if they are unused and left idle, they become liable to disease, defective in growth and age quickly” (Kokkinos & Myers 2010).

Scientists have proved Hippocrates right time and again in recent years. In a review of the latest science, Booth, Roberts & Regular exercise and physical activity do much to prevent many physical ailments. Listed below are some of the specific health benefits of resistance training.

  • Increase in resting metabolic rate
  • Improvement in self- esteem and self-concept
  • Improvement in resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels if initially elevated
  • Increase in bone mineral density in specific sites that are trained
  • Improvement in blood lipid profile, including lower triglycerides, higher HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol
  • Enhanced physical function in relation to activities of daily living
  • Slowing of sarcopenia and age- related factors in skeletal m
  • Improvement in insulin sensitivity and glycemic control
  • Heightened cognitive abilities
  • Better management and control of depression

Source: Westcott (2015).

To read more about how physical activity can reduce the risk of nearly three dozen harmful conditions and life-threatening diseases, please see "35 Ailments, One Prescription: MOVE!" in the online IDEA Library or in the February 2016 print issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7.

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References

Kokkinos, P., & Myers, J. 2010. Exercise and physical activity: Clinical outcomes and applications. Circulation, 122 (16), 1637–48.

Westcott, W.L. 2015. Build muscle, improve health: Benefits associated with resistance exercise. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, 19 (4), 22–27.

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About the Authors

Galen A. Morton, MA

Galen A. Morton, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Len Kravitz, PhD

Len Kravitz, PhD IDEA Author/Presenter

Len Kravitz, PhD, is the program coordinator of exercise science and a researcher at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he recently won the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award. Len was also honored as the 2006 Fitness Educator of the Year by the American Council on Exercise.