From boosting your brain power to mindfulness and increased self-esteem, Strength Training has amazing benefits for body and mind. Here are our top 10!
28th February 2023
According to a study from the University of Essex, just 1 in 20 people exercise their muscles enough.
The research, which looked at 295,000 adults’ weekly exercise regime, found that strength training was biased to men and that education played a part in understanding the importance of muscle strength as well as personal wealth which impacted a person’s ability to afford a gym membership.
At Fresh Air Fitness our park gyms are completely free to use, inclusive and suitable for all abilities. They include many different options for Strength exercises, from using our calisthenics pull up bars to our wide range of strength equipment where you set your own resistance using a handy dial.
Our gyms are used by groups such as bootcamps if you like to exercise with friends, sports clubs, PTs and by individuals as part of their regular exercise routine.
Here are our top ten benefits of Strength Training and how you can use our outdoor gym as a valuable addition to your Strength Training Programme!
As you incorporate and increase strength training exercises you will become stronger. As you get stronger, everyday tasks will feel easier and your performance in activities and sport will improve. In fact, whatever you want to do in life - being stronger will improve your endurance and ability to tackle your daily needs.
For strengthening and building muscles in arms, back and shoulders our chin up bars are a great starting point. Great for all abilities. If you are starting out, use a band for assistance.
After undertaking strength-based training activity your metabolic rate, which is the speed at which your body burns calories, is elevated for up to 72 hours. Strength training also builds muscle fibre by a process called hypertrophy which is basically when the muscle fibres have been put under stress and stimulate a repair process which increases lean muscle mass. Muscles also burn more calories than fat so you will also burn more calories at rest.
Parallel Bar exercises build amazing bodyweight strength – from bicycle walks and travelling dips to push-ups, the Fresh Air Fitness parallel gym bars are challenging yet fun to use.
Muscle is denser than fat and, as such, it takes up less space on your body. This effect is pound for pound so you may lose inches off your waist through strength training even if your weight doesn’t decrease.
And not only do you benefit from looking better, but you’ll also benefit from decreased risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.
Simple but effective, the Fresh Air Fitness Sit Up Bench is perfect for building core and upper body strength. From back extensions and crunches to twists, the frame itself can also be used for triceps dips, incline and decline press-ups.
Strength training lowers your risk of falls and injury as your body becomes stronger and more able to support itself. This effect can be as much as a 34% reduction in falls, as demonstrated by a study of 23,407 participants in a balanced exercise program incorporating balance exercises, resistance and functional training. The reason for this is that strength training increases the strength of your muscles and joints including hips, knees and ankles, and increases their motion and mobility. What's more, strength training also makes your bones stronger, reducing your risk of osteoporosis or injury if you do suffer a fall.
If you use a wheelchair the Fresh Air Fitness Disabled Combo is a brilliant piece of equipment for a dual upper body workout. With a chest press on one side and pull down challenger on the other, just reverse into place, lock your chair down and get started!
Strength training can make you more flexible by increasing your joint range of motion. The greater you use the full motion of your joints the better the benefit.
The Fresh Air Fitness Hip Twister is an excellent piece for strengthening the oblique muscles which run along the sides and back of your abdomen, helping to create a more defined waist and supported back. It also gives you a little bit of a shoulder workout at the same time.
Strength training helps to maintain your weight, manage your blood sugar levels, decrease blood pressure, lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
The British Heart Foundation and Helen Alexander, a physiotherapist who specialises in cardiac rehabilitation at Nuffield Health at St Bartholomew's Hospital, explained in a recent blog that ‘strengthening our muscles makes our arms and legs work better and takes the demand off the heart.’
Essentially the stronger your muscles are, the easier you’ll find it to complete everyday tasks without getting so breathless and tired.
The Fresh Air Fitness Resistance Leg Press has been specially designed for adults to build strength and tone in the legs. An easy-to-use dial allows you to select your workout level from 1-11, meaning you can challenge yourself or work towards a target.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with type 2 diabetes could benefit from a strength training program to help with blood sugar control.
We recommend that you always speak to your GP or diabetes consultant before embarking on any exercise programme as your programme needs to be unique to your individual condition and health requirements.
Lifting weights can be challenging, so when you hit a goal or a target, it can create a real sense of achievement!
This sense of achievement and ‘I can’ attitude automatically boosts the self-esteem.
Weight training in particular involves incremental improvements in the amount you can lift, the number of repetitions you can achieve and also the journey to perfecting your technique.
This constant state of progressing is great for making you feel great about your own abilities!
For constant improvement and goal setting, why not work through the resistance settings on our Fresh Air Fitness Resistance Bench Press. Specially designed to build strength in the arms and chest.
Some days it can be really hard to find the motivation to get moving, especially when you’re living with a long term health condition but regular exercise, including strength training, guarantees to improve your mood by releasing happy endorphins into your body. This, in turn, will make you feel more positive overall.
Strength training also involves focus and as the British Weightlifting organisation explains, being focused on the moment is a mindfulness technique where all your worries are forgotten whilst you think only of the exercise.
If you can add in exercising outdoors, you will also feel the additional benefit of the fresh air and the extra Vitamin D from natural sunlight.
If like us, you believe exercise should be fun, The Horizontal Ladder is the perfect piece of equipment for setting yourself a strength challenge. Not only is it challenging, but it is also so playful!
Move at your own pace, building up the number of swings as your strength builds or the distance you can reach before you drop down. Why not add in knee or leg raises as your confidence and ability grows or try the whole thing in reverse?
Last but by no means least, working out with weights, callisthenics and/ or resistance eqiupment provides an intense workout and studies have shown this improves brain health. In fact, by undertaking approximately 6 minutes of moderate to intense exercise per day you can sharpen your mind! Read our latest blog on how exercise actually boosts brain power!
Arranging an outdoor gym installation
If you would like to find out more about how to install an outdoor gym in your local park, school, or green space, you can complete our brief enquiry form or call us on tel. 01483 608 860. Our team is here to help answer any questions you may have. If you would like to find the nearest outdoor gym to you, use our free outdoor gym locator tool.Back to all blog posts
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