Lifting weights is a lot more beneficial than we think it is. If you are a beginner and completely new to workouts, strength training can be much more effective than you might think it to be. Most of us probably know that hitting weights at the gym or doing bodyweight exercises makes you fitter and stronger.
But what most of us are not aware of is its effects on the body and mind. Where cardio helps you get rid of fat and helps you burn it, weight training helps you go beyond your potential and get a body you have always dreamed of having.
When you think of weight training, bodybuilders with bulky muscles and chiseled chests come to mind, but scientists say resistance training offers incredible benefits for everyday people hoping for better health, too.
Where most of us are familiar with the benefits of aerobic exercises such as running, cycling, or just walking, most of us have completely ignored other important spectrums such as weight training.
Maybe the reason for this is that most of us are convinced that lifting weights can only eventually turn you into a hulk, but that is not true. As previously mentioned cardio helps you burn fat and help with weight loss, similarly weight training helps you not only build muscles but also can prevent diseases, improve your mood, and help prevent fractures.
To eliminate the myths most of us have developed about strength training, we have outlined the following health benefits of weight lifting that would encourage you to start it right away.
It Gives a Boost to Your Metabolism
Having more muscles turns your body into a fat-burning machine. When you build more muscles, your body develops this ability to burn fat even when at rest.
Where most of us think cardio has the same effect however, you do not develop muscles during cardio as much as you do when strength training.
To put it simply, the more muscles you build and develop through weights and other resistance training, the more calories and fat you are burning even when you are sitting watching your favorite show on television or working. (The amount of calories you burn while at rest is referred to as your basal metabolic rate, or BMR).
Helps Protect Your Bones
If you plan on living an active and injury-free life, strength training is the key. Weight training is essential when it comes to the protection of bones and build and strengthen them.
Growing evidence of research suggests doing resistance training and lifting weights can help prevent bone loss (or even build bones) and in turn, help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and possible fractures in the long run. In a way, it is more beneficial than you thought it to be.
Don’t let your age fool you, there are people who start strength training in their seventy’s and experience weight loss and fat along with improving bones and your ability to use them.
May Help Improve Sleep
Strength training is yet another natural remedy for sleep issues. When you work extra hard and push yourself beyond limits, it generally helps you feel better and affect your sleep.
Not only has this but it also helped improve your body’s energy level and keep you more active. However, it can have opposite effects if you work out intense before going to bed, which can disrupt your sleeping pattern.
Prevents Back Pain
If you work in an office or have a desk job, sitting in that posture all day long can cause back and neck pain along with causing stiffness and posture.
This is where weight lifting acts as a remedy to help you get rid of this back pain. Weight lifting helps strengthen the core of your muscle-the ones that support your spine- and works on that posture and lessen the discomfort and some of the damage caused by sitting all day.
When it comes to the best exercises to work on the posture you should go for hip extensions, as it is the opposite motion of the hip flexion that occurs while sleeping. Squats and step-ups are another few of the exercises that work best for back pain, the trick here is to start off with bodyweight and add resistance to increase the challenge.
Apart from working on major muscle groups, weight lifting works those smaller muscles called stabilizer muscles and does exactly what you think it does- they help stabilize you.
Just when you think you are using weight to flatter your flexing muscles, without noticing each time you are also working those little muscles that help keep you upright and take care of other tasks such as balancing on one foot to reach that high shelf to get that book and other similar tasks. This holds even more important for people as they age.
It Makes You Stronger Mentally
It is no secret that when you feel strong physically you automatically feel strong mentally. Working out or exerting beyond your limits and getting out of your comfort zone is not easy, weight training exactly does that.
It teaches you to push yourself even when you feel like stopping and have no resistance left. This helps you be strong not only physically but mentally as well.