Lifting weights isn’t as trendy as some of the latest workout fads (Sandbox Fitness anyone?) however weight lifting has proven to be one of the most effective and sustainable routines anyone can employ. Don’t be put off by intimidating weight rooms in your gym or the muscles of some of the other lifters, here are 10 reasons you should be lifting weights:
One of the greatest advantages of lifting weights is that you can do it while at your local gym or at home watching Netflix. We always recommend starting with a professional (most gyms have trainers to teach you proper technique) to create a plan that’s best for you and your goals. It is always a good idea to start light and work your way up to heavier dumbbells and machines as your strength and stamina improves. Plus an expert can help you schedule consistent workouts and identify key areas to focus on your individual’s needs.
Researchers have identified weight lifting as a stimulus for our bones (as opposed to other fitness practices) that has a direct positive effect on bone density. Increasing your bone strength is especially important as our bones begin to lose density after the age of 30. Other factors that increase the risk for bone density related injuries include being a senior, a smoker, menopausal, or taking medications.
If you trying to eat healthily or lose weight, you’ll absolutely want to start lifting weights. Adding weight lifting to a regular routine has been shown to increase metabolic rate and insulin sensitivity. That’s good news for anyone with weight loss goals or living with diabetes.
Weight lifting is known to increase blood flow to muscles, decrease stiffness in blood vessels, and contributes to improved cardiovascular health. It’s also been shown to reduce blood pressure, preventing the risk of common heart-related diseases.
This might not come as a surprise since physical activity is often recommended for anyone dealing with anxiety or depression. Long term training with resistance exercise has been proven in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Studies have shown that a variety of resistance strength training can alleviate back pain and support back strength, with core resistance training proving to be the most effective workouts for strong backs. Weight training even proved effective in reducing back pain with firefighters those who suffer from chronic back pain.
Sleep patterns of people who started weight training have been monitored and the results are conclusive; adding resistance training to your routine does have a positive effect on your quality of sleep (good news for insomniacs!). This is true particularly of senior adults as well.
One way to extend your life is to build up muscle mass, according to a 2014 research paper from UCLA. A prolonged life attributed to weight lifting can aid a reduced risk of obesity and diabetes that results from resistance training.
Resistance training has shown to support various aspects of mental health, including enhanced mental clarity. Along with making you happier and better rested, weight lifting can make you more productive. Maybe your employer should think about adding a weights room to your office?
A recent study found that weight lifting improved the cognitive abilities and memories of Alzheimer’s patients. The results were impressive enough that the doctors who ran the experiment felt confident recommending ‘weight lifting for everyone.’
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