Strength training (or resistance training) include activities such as lifting weights, resistance training, or cross training with enough resistance on an exercise machine.
Strength training is typically an anaerobic activity, meaning oxygen consumption is not sufficient to supply the energy demands being placed on your muscles due to the short bursts of energy exertion. Strength training uses weight resistance to cause muscle contraction, which has been shown to increase bone, muscle, tendon, and ligament strength among other benefits outlined below.
Ten weeks of resistance training may increase lean weight by 1.4 kg, increase resting metabolic rate by 7%, and reduce fat weight by 1.8 kg. The benefits of resistance training include improved physical performance, movement control, walking speed, functional independence, cognitive abilities, and self-esteem. (9)
Strength training has been shown to increase resting metabolism rates. This is the amount of calories your body burns just going about your day, potentially due to the extra lean muscle mass created.(3) It may also be due to the extra oxygen required post exercise to bring the body back to homeostasis or normal levels. (4)
Your strength training could be having a positive effect on your Average Glucose reading by depleting glycogen stores, lowering insulin, lowering blood glucose and enhancing insulin sensitivity.
Studies suggest that resistance training for 30 minutes a day, three times a week, over a 10 week period can reduce hbA1c by 10% more than aerobic training. (1) This may be due to increased insulin activity in the skeletal muscle (2).
It is thought that strength training has a positive effect on cholesterol profile by reducing your total cholesterol, through LDL reductions, and an increase in plaque fighting HDL cholesterol. This was demonstrated in a study over 8 weeks with 3 strength training sessions per week. (7)
Your strength training could be having a positive effect on your CRP by improving your body composition through increases in muscle mass and decreases in body fat especially central visceral fat.
The increase in muscle mass has positive impact in energy expenditure and insulin sensitivity and in turns decreases CRP. (5)
Strength training over time has shown enhanced insulin sensitivity via multiple mechanisms, including an increase of skeletal muscle mass and qualitative improvement in muscle metabolic properties and reductions in blood glucose.(6)
Exercise in general has shown to have a positive effect on GGT in overweight adults or adults with fatty liver disease. Strength training can have a positive effect on liver enzymes and significant reductions in GGT levels by enhancing the fat burning machinery of muscles. (8)
Strength training is a super way to complement your other exercise habits and can have a positive impact on your health.
If you haven't lifted weights before, you may want to start with a certified personal trainer who can teach you proper form and provide a program that is personalized to your needs.
While most gyms have a wide variety of equipment, you can also create an effective strength training regimen at home with dumbbells or even body weight.
It's key to make sure that you warm up each time you exercise and increase the weight gradually over time. You should also rest between exercises and stretch when done. Last, make sure that you give your body time to recover (1-2 days) between vigorous resistance training sessions.