It’s a nice feeling to see those unwanted inches disappear and have those around you comment on how great you look. External re-enforcers are pretty strong and definitely keep you eating small meals and exercising every day, but studies show that you will receive your best motivation if you truly understand the greater reasons for keeping your body in its top condition. You who have had recent conversations with your doctor already understand what I’m about to mention.

How does exercise affect your blood pressure, cholesterol, heart health, bone tissue, body composition and glucose metabolism?

When you see your doctor for annual check-ups, are these issues you discuss? In addition to that leaner body and your ability to go the extra mile without breathing heavier, did you know you were creating a tremendous positive impact on each of the conditions above through your exercise routine?  Take a look below at a very brief description of how exercise, particularly resistance exercise, can benefit each of these areas.

  • Blood Pressure - Studies show high repetitions of moderate resistance reduces blood pressure, which wards off risk of heart failure, kidney disease and stroke.
  • Cholesterol - Studies show decreases of LDL cholesterol and increases in HDL cholesterol in participants of a resistance training program.
  • Heart Health - Although researchers don’t completely understand the effects, resistance-trained individuals show an increase in left ventricular wall thickness and mass. This could improve cardiac output, stroke volume and overall heart efficiency.
  • Bone Tissue - Progressively loading the body’s skeleton in resistance training encourages bone modeling, which allows the bone to be re-enforced stronger and more rigid after each exercise session.
  • Body Composition - In addition to the energy expenditure of the resistance activity, itself, recovery from training also changes body composition through the addition of more lean muscle tissue and less body fat mass.
  • Glucose Metabolism - Resistance training has been shown to improve glucose tolerance and reduced insulin response, which if aren’t under control, can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Jeff Howerton is a trainer and owner of LEAN personal training, where he and his trainers work with clients to lose fat, develop lean muscle and implement strategies for healthier living. LEAN (615) 279-1900 or

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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