A strong and toned upper body is definitely something to aspire to now that swimsuit season is upon us. But fit and fab arms and shoulders are not the only reasons you should consider amping up your upper body workout routine.
Here are six ways a strong upper body greatly benefits your overall health:
Weight training is good for your heart.
According to the American Heart Association, strength training and lifting weights can boost heart health. A good amount of reps combined with even just a little resistance are highly beneficial.
2. A solid upper body helps improve posture.
Well-conditioned back muscles help you sit straighter and stand taller. A strong back also helps with balance and prevents you from slouching.
3. It can reduce injury.
Research indicates resistance training can help lower the risk of musculoskeletal injuries or reduce their severity. A strong upper body functions as sort of an “armor,” or shield, protecting some of the body’s most important organs, including the heart and lungs.
4. Strong muscles will enhance any physical activity.
Upper body strength helps the rest of the body perform more easily and efficiently. For example, in swimming, stronger shoulders and arms can help propel you through the water taking away some of the pressure on the legs to kick and do all the work.
5. Strength training protects your bones.
Experts claim that weight or resistance, “strength,” training of the upper body can help bones stay healthy and build density. Bone density is lost as you get older, leading to arthritis and osteoporosis. The stronger you keep your upper, and lower body, the better chance you have at avoiding both of these debilitating diseases.
6. It feels good!
Endorphins from exercise have long been credited with feeling good. Couple that with a fitness goal of a certain amount of pushups or bench-pressing a new weight, and you will feel (and look!) great from your achievements. And your body will thank you for it too.