Everyone knows that if you lift weights you’re going to get bigger and stronger muscles, not many people know about the health benefits of weightlifting. But what a lot of people don’t realize that there is a lot more to weight lifting and your overall health than you think.
Whenever one of my friends tells me that they have been doing so great on working out and dieting but have recently become stuck on their weight loss goals my first question that I always ask if they include any weight training in their workout routines.
The answer I get 9 times out of 10 is no they don’t do any weights and only do cardio. Which should be enough right? No, there really should be no reason why you do not have a weight training routine to go with a cardio routine, especially if your goal is fat loss. Research has shown that regular weight training does aid in weight loss.
It is very important for everyone to know that weightlifting is not only for the people that are looking for huge muscles, but it is very important to include a weight training program if you’re looking to improve your overall health.
Weightlifting is not only for the “young” and “strong” but it is for all ages. For adults, the weightlifting regularly could help with the natural loss of muscle mass that comes as you get older.
It is also not only for experienced weightlifters, anyone can start lifting weights anytime. Obviously, you won’t be starting with as much weight as the more experienced weightlifters. The ultimate end goal is to challenge your muscles just enough so that they can rebuild and adapt to get stronger.
Let’s take a look at some other health benefits that you get from weightlifting other than getting super big and muscular.
Good For Your Bones
What many people don’t know about weight training is that strong muscles lead to strong bones. A growing number of research is showing that doing some sort of weight training exercises could help slow down bone loss and even make the bones stronger by building bone.
This information could go a long way in helping with age-related bone mass declines. The research shows that whenever you are doing weight training exercises the stress from the exercises on the bones activates the bone-forming cells. The activation of the bone-forming cells results in a stronger and denser bone.
As you get older, with lack of activity and nutrition your bone mass is going to gradually decline. The more your bone mass declines the more vulnerable you are to fractures. Keep in mind that these are fractures that you would be getting from just doing everyday things. It does not mean that you need to fall to sustain a fracture. As your bone mass goes down doing something as simple as bending over to pick up something off the ground could have enough stress to give you a fracture.
So adding a good weight training routine not only gives you stronger muscle but your bones get stronger as well so you can fight off the natural decline in bone mass.
Good For Your Heart
Pumping iron helps keep the engine of your body in tip-top shape. Researchers from Appalachian State University found that the way your blood vessels responded to doing weight training vs doing aerobic exercises.
When someone is doing weight training there is an increase in blood flow to your limbs, when you are doing aerobic exercises there is no increased blood flow to the limbs.
Researchers also found that there is also a longer-lasting drop in blood pressure of as much as 20 percent after weight training.
Your heart is the engine of your body so keeping it working at its best is important. Because of the increased blood flow that you get to your limbs when you are doing weight training, this could be beneficial for you if you do runs or cycle on the bike. The increased blood flow could help strengthen the muscles and improve your times running or cycling.
Weight training is also known to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, both of which contribute to clogging your arteries which in turn could potentially lead to heart attacks or strokes. Weight training lowers both of these so they don’t get too high and put you at risk.
Good For Your Metabolism
Weight lifting could boost your metabolism so that you burn more calories throughout the day. It is estimated that every pound of muscle burns about 6 calories per day compared to a pound of fat burning only 2 calories per day.
In theory, if you are working out and losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time over time you will have more muscle and less fat. Therefore, you will be burning more calories overall throughout the day when you gain muscle.
As you get older your resting metabolic rate decreases, usually caused by the age-related decrease in muscle mass. Adding a strength training routine to your workouts could help slow or even increase your resting metabolic rate.
Good For Your Blood Sugar
Weightlifting improves the way your body processes the excess sugars in your body. Many doctors recommend patients that have type 2 diabetes to add weight training exercises to their routines.
When you do weight lifting and are targeting muscles, your body uses glucose from your bloodstream to power the workout. When this happens this clears out the excess sugar from your system.
Glucose that is stored in lean muscle mass is store more effectively. This type of muscle is sometimes called white muscle, which helps in regulating your glucose levels because it uses glucose for energy.
Good For Your Back
If you have ever experienced severe back pain the last thing you want to think about is lifting weights. But lifting weights is actually very beneficial to prevent back pain as well as effectively relieving back pain for people that already have back pain if you are using the right workouts.
I personally had an episode of back pain that was completely unbearable. It left me at home from work for a week hardly able to move. When I went to the doctor’s to get it checked out, the doctor told me that weak muscles ultimately lead to back pain, especially weak core abdominal muscles.
Improving the muscles of your back, abdominal, buttocks, and hamstrings can help build strength to support your back and prevent any future back pain or easy any pain that you may already have.
The abdominal muscles are especially important because those muscles combined with your back muscles pretty much stabilizes your body’s entire midsection. If your core abdominal muscles are weak then this causes the back muscles to have to pick up the slack absorbing more stress which could lead to injury.
Good For Your Balance
What most people don’t realize is how important all your muscles are when it comes to your balance. Your muscles help you do every day things like getting in the car, putting your pants on, tying your shoe and much more and they help you by not making you fall on your face.
This is something that your body naturally does without you having to think about it, but if the muscles are weak and are not able to support your body weight correctly than falls can happen.
So when you lifting weights you are building muscle but at the same time, you are building the muscles that help you maintain your balance every day. As you get older this is especially important to help prevent falls from loss of balance.
Good For Your Mental Health
Recently there have been some studies that have shown that lifting weights can be beneficial to not only your muscles but your mental health as well.
Published in the journal of sports medicine, the studies showed that resistance exercise training significantly improves anxiety symptoms in both healthy participants and participants with physical or mental illness.
People with anxiety and people who suffer from depression could find some relief from their symptoms by adding a good weight lifting routine to their workout.
Lifting weights can also improve your overall self-esteem whenever you accomplish a new weight goal or when you start noticing that your physique is getting better. This gives you that sense of accomplishment, leaves you in a better mood, and provides more motivation to continue lifting weights to look even better. Just wait till other people start noticing your better-looking physique, think about what that could do for you mentally.
Did you know about all these health benefits from lifting weights? If you did that’s great you more than likely already have a weight lifting routine in your workout.
If you didn’t know about all these benefits and don’t have a weight lifting routine then you can start a weight lifting routine.
It doesn’t mean that you have to start lifting extremely heavy weights to start. You can start slow and light than work your way up once you feel comfortable with that weight.
With all these benefits for weight lifting its a surprise that there are still people out there that don’t have a weight lifting routine to go with their cardio.
Do you already have a weightlifting routine with your workout? When did you start lifting weights with your workout? Comment below!
Once again thanks for reading and if you have any comments, suggestions, leave a comment below and I will get back to you.