Benefits of Strength Training

Mercy Health Tip of the Week by Ryan Gutzky, AT, ATC

In today’s society, strength training is a very important component of running. It helps runners become faster, stronger and help meet the demands of their sport. Health benefits such as reducing risk of disease or ailments with age are a few of the benefits. With strength training, there are a vast amount of exercises to do for the entire body. To add to the different exercises there are even different ways to do them. Strength training, whether it is for athletic gains or general health, it is beneficial for everyone.

Strength training can help with reducing the signs and symptoms of diseases that come with aging. Conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, obesity, back pain, and even depression can be reduced if not prevented. For example, with aging, the bones in the body become more porous and weak, involving proper strength training on a routine basis creates a load on the body in which it needs to adapt to. With the load, the bones will actually not become as porous and will remain strong and possibly become stronger. Improvements with these can help with things such as balance and reduce the chance of falling and injuring the body.

There are many different exercises that can help improve one’s health. Exercise techniques such as isometric, isotonic and isokinetic can help an individual with their routine. Isometrics are strength training exercises that are done in a static position rather than dynamic.

Isotonic exercises are done in a dynamic standpoint to help strengthen the entire muscle. General weight lifting exercises such as bench press, bicep curls, tri-cep dips, and shoulder dips would be good examples for upper body exercises. Squats, leg curls, leg extensions, and leg presses would be some good examples of lower body exercises, that will greatly improve your running capabilities, while aiding in injury prevention.

In the running world, just doing these exercises are not enough. It requires different demands. Going a little bit further, different distances can have different demands. An 5k runner will not have the same workout routine as a marathoner, or sprinter. With this, it is important to understand the different demands needed for the different goals in ones’ routine. In all, strength training is a beneficial habit that one can add into their daily life. Even simple strength exercises would be better than none at all. The long term health benefits can prevent diseases and ailments from taking place at a younger age. There are many exercises that a person can learn, and with the different goals one sets, each person can have different results.

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* This content is not intended to replace any formal training plans directed by licensed coaches. You should always get your doctors go-ahead prior to embarking on any fitness regime. Mercy Health, Glass City Marathon and the Toledo Roadrunners Club are not offering this content to replace a monitored training plan. — Use this content as conversation starters with your doctors, nutritionists, coaches, etc.