Overtime, due to changes in our job descriptions, less and less people are involved in physical work or manual labor. Most of us have a desk job which involves us sitting for long stretches of time. This is not good for our health simply because humans are not built to live this way and have not for thousands of years. But of course, we need our jobs. So how can we maintain good health? A good diet and exercise are the building blocks of being physically fit but how much time you devote to your exercise depends on how much time you can spare. For those who do not have hours to spare each day the best thing is lifting weights. Lifting weights counts as resistance exercises which are the quickest way of building muscle mass. When we say muscle mass we don’t necessarily mean bulky muscles but rather toning existing muscles. There are many reasons to start incorporating weight lifting into your exercise regime and we have some of them here for you.
It Will Make You Physically Stronger
Feeling strong is important but it is not just about how you feel. Over time you will become more productive simply because you will now be able to do more labor intensive work without getting as tired or sore. This decreases your dependency on others so if you live on your own or are responsible for most of the chores, taking care of kids, and/or working you know how much weight you have to lift everyday. Once you start working out and do specific exercises they will strengthen your muscles faster which, for example, carrying a load of laundry won’t be able to do.
It is Inexpensive
Sometimes a gym subscription is just not affordable especially if you also need to spend money on commuting there. And travelling also means that more time is spent in getting there and setting up. But for simple beginner level strength training you can just work out at home. All you have to do is invest in a one time cost of dumbbells or kettlebells, set aside some time at least 3 times a week, and make a commitment to workout for yourself. If you are a complete beginner you can follow Youtube tutorials until you build your routine. There is no time needed to set up, you have complete privacy and no monthly gym membership costs. Just make sure to start small and then build up and keep your form right to avoid injuries. Maintain a record of your workout so you can see improvement over time and feel motivated!
It Can Increase Bone Strength
At the least, strength training will help prevent loss in bone density that we all naturally experience as we age. If we lose bone too fast that results in osteoporosis which leaves our bones weak and brittle. Strength training puts stress on the bones and encourages bone forming cells to generate cells and make our bones stronger. This can especially help strengthen the spine and hip bones.
It Reduces Risk of Back Pain And Arthritis
If your bones are stronger, especially the spine, then that automatically helps reduce back pain. But weight lifting also strengthens connective tissues and increases joint stability. This acts as reinforcement for the joints and allows them to bear more weight and use. Strengthening the gluteal muscles specifically can also help in eliminating or alleviating low-back and knee pain. It also overall reduces risk of injury. The good thing about strength training is that even though you should be working on your entire body if you have a specific body part that needs strengthening then you can do specific exercises made for that muscle.
It Results In Decreased Body Fat
Muscles use up more energy compared to other tissues in our bodies. To keep it simple: more muscles equals more energy being used up. Even if you are resting your body’s metabolism rate would be increased so regardless or what you have done that day you will have used up more calories compared to when you had less muscle mass. This means that there is less excess energy for the body to store as fat. One step further means that when you workout your body will burn stored fat to provide the energy needed by the muscles. This all results in lower body fat. Having a certain amount of fat in your body is necessary but too much fat in the waistline is linked to several serious and chronic illnesses.
It Increases Stamina
In the beginning if you are not used to working out you will find it difficult. The key is to start small and keep going. Perseverance pays off big time here. Very soon you will notice climbing the stairs doesn’t leave you breathless nor does every workout leave you incredibly sore. Some people even start to enjoy some of the sweet pain that follows a good workout. Increased stamina is good not just for daily life activities but also helps if you are a fan of hiking, cycling, skiing or any other sport. Even golfing improves if you have more muscles on you!
It Reduces Risk of Diabetes And Heart Disease
Regular strength training lowers blood pressure and keeps the body from storing bad cholesterol. Your body also responds better to insulin and improves the way it uses sugar. Since the biggest risk for diabetes type 2 is being overweight, strength training combined with aerobic exercises keeps these lifelong illnesses at bay or controlled. Risk reduction goes upto 59%!
Fights Anxiety And Depression
When you feel strong it automatically helps you feel more secure and confident. It’s a great way to also fight off any body image issues that are so prevalent these days. There is a sense of self care that comes from regularly working out that is good for your mental health. Regular exercise helps keep the body's hormones in balance and also helps keep organs healthy which matters a lot for how you feel each day. Apart from that we all know that our body releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, from regular exercise. Studies have shown that regularly exercising even a small amount helps improve cases of mild depression and anxiety.
Even if you think you are too old or too weak to lift weights get in touch with a professional trainer and you will discover that you are most likely able to benefit from all of the above reasons for lifting weights.