Many people associate strength and conditioning only with athletes.
At one time, perhaps, strength and conditioning was reserved only for
athletes. Certainly the world of muscle building (apart from body
building) was relatively unknown. But all that has changed in the last
few generations as the health benefits of muscle strength and
endurance have become known for men and women of all ages.
As a result of technological advances, societal changes, and personal
choices, all of us place fewer demands on our muscular systems.
Why should you consider a regular program of strength and
conditioning? What do you have to gain by it? Is there any compelling
reason to commit yourself to strength training for 20-60 minutes, 2-3
days per week?
Certainly, there are many good reasons to include strength training in
Enhanced strength and functional capacity:
Increased or maintained bone density:
(Osteoporosis is extremely prevalent, especially in postmenopausal
women in whom the bone protective effects of estrogen are no longer
present. Bones can loose mineral density and become brittle, thus
breaking easily. Once thought to be a disease for older women,
osteoporosis is now known to affect men too. Bone building starts much earlier in life.)
(Not that long ago, aerobic exercise was considered the most
important, that is no longer the case. Many of the characteristic
changes associated with advancing age, such as slower resting
metabolism, reduced strength, increased body fatness, can be
attributed to reductions in lean muscle mass. )
Increased rate of metabolism:
(The weight loss benefits of building more muscle. Muscle tissue
directly affects Resting Metabolic Rate, and it does so because muscle
cells are high maintenance —that is, they are metabolically demanding, even at rest. In contrast, fat tissue is quite inactive, as fat cells are basically passive fat storage sites. Increased muscle tissue
results in increased energy requirements to service that tissue. If
you eat the same number of calories, the additional energy demand of
the new muscle tissue burns up some stored fuel, like fat.)