When you think of weight training, what’s the first image that comes to mind? Is it a bodybuilder? Or maybe an Olympic athlete with chiseled thighs and a neck the size of a tree trunk?
Most of us are very familiar with the benefits of aerobic exercises like running, cycling or swimming, assuming that strength training is on the other end of the spectrum (one keeps you thin and heart healthy and the other makes you muscular). But the truth is, in terms of overall health benefits, the two overlap more than they differ.
Curious? Let’s take a look at ten reasons you should start incorporating weights and resistance training into your fitness routine today.
1) It will keep your bones dense and healthy.
Did you know that bone density naturally decreases by 1 percent every year after the age of 30? Women in particular struggle with the loss of bone density (called osteoporosis) and make up 80 percent of cases in the United States. Weight training helps increase bone density, reducing the risk of fractures and breaks among adults.
2) It will help you sleep better.
Besides the physical benefits, weightlifting has been proven to positively affect how we feel and how clearly we think. Need to clear your head? Take a trip to the gym. You’ll sleep so much better – waking up less often throughout the night and falling into deep sleep more quickly.
3) It will improve your posture, reducing the risk of back pain.
Do you work a job that keeps you sitting or standing for long periods of time? Odds are you need to work on strengthening your posterior chain – the mass of muscles designed to keep your spine and lower back in check. Deadlifting in particular works wonders for this area of the body, ensuring your spine stays straight and protected from daily wear and tear.
4) It will help regulate your glucose levels.
Along with improving posture and sleep, strength training will help you burn through glucose and keep your blood sugar levels more steady. Great news for the 14 million Americans dealing with type 2 diabetes.
5) It will help you lose weight and keep it off.
Weightlifting boosts metabolism and fat loss by building dense, calorie-hungry muscle mass. Why? Because muscle is an active tissue, it burns more muscle compared to fat so your hard work will stretch farther over time.
6) It may stave off chronic diseases.
Cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and even cancer, all seem to shrink in the presence of a strong, weightlifting body. They say cardio is great for your heart. Well, that applies to weight training too! In the grand scheme of things, the stronger you are, the more resilient you will be against disease.
7) It will help you gain confidence in life.
Weightlifting has an amazing ability to boost self-esteem, mental health and self-confidence. Feeling discouraged? Prove what you’re made of in the gym. Feeling tired or anxious? Harness the boost of energy and endorphins that comes with exercise.
And you don’t even have to go to the gym to get the benefits. Look at starting with body weight exercises like squats, lunges or even push-ups. You just might learn to love it.
Click Here For More Articles
Don't forget to opt-in to Our Healthy Living Society and get 3 free gifts while receiving the latest information on health, well-being and groundbreaking news about natural nutrition.