From ACSM Health and Fitness Journal
By James A. Peterson, Ph.D., FACSM
1. Enhances your level of functional fitness: Your muscles play a key role in determining whether you can perform the
activities of daily living at home, work, and play. Accordingly, the higher your level of muscular fitness, the more likely
you will be able to do the tasks in your life without undue fatigue or risk of injury
2. Facilitates your efforts to control your weight: The amount of lean muscle mass you have helps to determine your
resting metabolic rate, which in turn significantly affects the number of calories you burn. All factors considered, the
more muscle you have, the easier it is to keep your weight within a desirable range.
3. Promotes bone health: Strength training not only makes your muscles stronger, it also makes your bones stronger.
Performed over an extended time, strength training has been found to increase bone density. Accordingly, proper
strength training will help to lower your risk of bone loss.
4. Reduces your chances of sustaining both muscular and skeletal injuries: It is estimated that a significant number of
various injuries that occur in physical activity could be prevented through a higher level of muscular fitness. Strength
training can be viewed as a relatively effective and inexpensive form of personal health insurance.
5. Slows down the so-called aging process: Strength training enhances the ability of older adults to perform the daily
tasks associated with independent living. Accordingly, proper strength training can have an invaluable impact on
helping senior citizens maintaining their independence and person dignity.
6. Decreases the relative muscular demands of specific tasks: Every physical activity requires a certain percentage of
an individual’s maximal level of muscular strength. For individuals who become stronger through strength training,
common activities of daily living (e.g. carrying groceries, shoveling snow, lifting small children) require less effort and
are easier to perform.
7. Helps treat and prevent lower back pain: Proper strength training can help reduce the incidence and severity of
lower back pain by strengthening both your abdominal and lower back muscles. By enhancing your postural stability,
keeping these muscles strong an help prevent undue load forces from being placed on your spine.
8. Enhances your appearance: The “fit, healthy” look is a matter of muscle tone, and an improved level of muscle tone
is a by-product of proper strength training. Fortunately, substantial changes in the level of strength and tone of a
muscle can occur in a relatively short period.
9. Improves sport performance: Strength training has been shown to enhance an individual’s ability to perform a
variety of skills. A higher level of muscular fitness affects not only your capacity to perform a specific task, but also
your ability to continue to perform that task at an acceptable level over an extended period.
10. Improves psychological well being: Strength training has been found to have a positive impact on your level of
anxiety, depression, and self-esteem. Accordingly, strength training can have a meaningful effect on the various
facets of the mind-body connection