The phrase “strength training” may call up images of musclebound jocks lifting giant dumbbells, but you don’t have to be a Schwarzenegger wannabe to benefit from strength training.
Whether you’re young or old, male or female, fit or out of shape, strength training can help you lose weight and improve your health in myriad ways. It’s not only good for your muscles, but for your entire body. Here are five reasons why you should make strength training part of your company’s wellness program:
It reduces absenteeism and presenteeism.
Resistance training will strengthen your employees’ muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments and improve their balance and flexibility, making them less vulnerable to falls and injuries that could keep them out of work. It also reduces lower back pain and pain from arthritis (one study found it as effective as medication at treating arthritis), two conditions linked to presenteeism.
It helps employees lose weight.
Strength training builds fat-burning muscle and can increase a person’s metabolism by 15%, meaning he or she will burn more calories even while at rest. Employees will also expend calories during and after strength training sessions, as they will during any form of vigorous exercise.
It prevents chronic diseases.
Strength training helps dissolve visceral fat, the fat surrounding internal organs that contributes to cardiovascular disease. It improves your body’s insulin resistance, lowering employees’ risk of diabetes or helping them control their blood sugar if they do have diabetes, and it strengthens bones, helping prevent osteoporosis.
It improves overall well-being.
Resistance training releases endorphins which improve mood and sleep. (And having a more toned body can improve your mood as well.) Plus, it increases strength and stamina, giving employees more energy for everyday activities like taking care of children, lifting heavy objects or climbing the stairs. (If your employees do any manual labor, strength training will help them on the job as well.)
It’s cost-effective and easy to implement.
Employees don’t need to go to the gym, buy expensive equipment or hire a personal trainer to do resistance training. They can do so at home by following the instructions on DVDs or online videos and using dumbbells or resistance bands available at any sports store.
Strength training’s about much more than bulging biceps and washboard abs. It’s an essential component of any fitness program—and a great way to achieve maximum bang for your wellness buck.