7 reasons to start lifting weights
Whilst cardio/aerobic exercise is beneficial to your health and well being, there are many additional benefits you can reap through resistance training. If you’re spending a lot of time on cardiovascular machines and wondering why you aren’t meeting your weight loss or fitness goals, we may have just the answer for you.
1. You will lose body fat
Studies have proved that resistance/weight training leads to increased lean muscle mass. This in turn increases your resting metabolism and help you burn more kilojoules throughout the day (that’s right, even when you’re not exercising!).
2. You decrease your risk of osteoporosis
Research has found that weight training can increase the bone mineral density in your spine and hips reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis. Whilst this condition more commonly affects women, it can also occur in men too. Combining weight training with adequate calcium intake is your best defense against osteoporosis.
3. You will be physically stronger
Improvements in strength will make you less dependent upon others for assistance with daily living. General house chores, food shopping, lifting kids etc. will no longer be as taxing on your body. As your strength increases, your balance and co-ordination will also improve, placing you at lower risk of falls and injury.
4. You reduce your risk of injury
Strength training also helps build stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability acting as reinforcement for our joints and injury prevention. Studies have shown weight training to be effective for easing the pain of osteoarthritis and for reducing the occurrence of lower back pain.
5. You will reduce your risk of diabetes (or improve your glycaemic control)
Weight training and improvements in lean body mass also improves our body’s processing of sugar. Increased lean body mass increases glucose utilization and improves insulin sensitivity. This in turn can help prevent and control diabetes.
6. You will reduce your risk of heart disease (and improve your heart health)
Weight training can improve cardiovascular health in several ways. Research indicates that strength training helps to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Controlled, moderate intensity strength training also produces benefits for lowering blood pressure. Combine this with cardiovascular exercise for optimal benefits.
7. You will improve your mental state and fight depression
Now that we know the physical benefits of strength training, let’s talk about the psychological benefits too. Medical studies have found that weight lifting can help alleviate the symptoms of clinical depression. Weight lifting contributes to more restful sleep, boosts energy levels and confidence; this in turn can lead to an overall elevated mood.
Always remember cardiovascular exercise has health benefits as well and that it is important to include both these training modes into your exercise plan. If you need help developing your exercise plan or need some guidance with commencing weight/strength training, we are here to help. Book an appointment with Rachel or Tim, our Accredited Exercise Physiologists who can help develop a suitable plan for you.