Lifting. Resistance or Strength Training, Pumping iron, however you choose to name it, the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction plays a critical role in improving the overall health and well-being of people of all ages and fitness levels. While strength training can seem somewhat unapproachable at first, the health benefits far surpass any concerns you might have about picking up weights for the first time.
If you are on the fence and require more persuasion, then read on. Below are 10 important explanations as to why you should integrate resistance training into your next life!
1.) Posture and Balance. Weight-bearing exercise builds muscle and contributes to better balance and coordination, resulting in improved posture. Having a strong core along with a wider range of motion (which proper lifting develops) can reduce your risk of falling by as much as 40 percent. This is a crucial benefit, especially as you get older. Everyday activities all become easier and safer when you practice strength training!
2.) You'll burn fat faster. Strength training keeps the body burning calories for hours after the workout is through. You’re probably familiar with the fact that lifting weights burns calories, but did you know that simply lifting weights thereby adding lean muscle mass, you're boosting your metabolism and turning your body into a more efficient calorie-burning machine. More calories are used to make and maintain muscle than fat, so pumping iron can really stimulate some serious weight loss quickly.
3.) Feel better and mentally balanced. Strength training will escalate your level of endorphins, which delivers that “runners high” or “feel good” feeling. Research has shown that people that include strength training into their routines have lower stress hormones than sedentary people. On top of that, weight-bearing exercise has demonstrated to be a natural and highly effective antidepressant.
4.) It’s great for your heart. The American Heart Association recommends strength training as the best way to keep your heart healthy. Evidence shows that strength training can help avert heart disease and can even assist in reducing risks with people who already have heart disease. Additionally, several studies have found that strength training at a moderate intensity can lower LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL cholesterol levels, boosting heart health. Furthermore, research conducted in the College of Health Sciences’ Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science at Appalachian State University has shown that resistance training can lower blood pressure by as much as 20% as it increases circulation to the muscles, heart, and body.
5.) Lifting generates stronger bones. Bones, which are actually comprised of living tissue, get stronger with as a result of weight bearing exercises. With regular strength training, you can advance the health and strength of your bones by increasing or maintaining (depending on your age) your bone density. Osteoporosis and related bone disease can be prevented through consistent strength training.
6.) Reduce your risk of diabetes and manage diabetic symptoms if already diabetic. Lifting weights helps regulate the way your body processes sugar as well as insulin production and blood glucose control. Furthermore, resistance training improves heart health by normalizing cholesterol and blood pressure, both of which serve to manage the symptoms diabetics face. Researchers have also found that the quality of life can be improved when people with diabetes lift weights regularly.
7.) You'll lose reduce body fat quicker. By burning calories at a faster rate than other forms of exercise, lifting weights will also help you to shed extra pounds. Penn State University recently conducted a survey, which found that people who lift weights lose, on average, six more pounds of fat than those who don't strength train. When you reduce calories and begin lifting weights, your body has to reallocate energy to fuel your workouts. When you combine weight training with a reduced-calorie diet, energy is used to build and maintain lean muscle mass while as you shed pounds. Your body will continue to obtain more energy from your fat stores, so you lose more fat while maintaining muscle mass.
So why not incorporate resistance training into your life? Consider getting a personal trainer to keep you keep track of your progress to keep motivated.