These Are the 7 Incredible Reasons You Should Start Lifting Weights
Posted by Healthy Truth on Jul 1st 2019
Going for a run or attending a cycling class is in the comfort zone for a lot of people when it comes to working out. For someone who has never lifted weights, the thought of picking up a barbell is nerve wracking. But the benefits of strength training are endless, so I’m here to convince you to get cozy with the dumbbells.
As a certified trainer, quite a bit of my time is spent trying to convince my clients that strength training can have an amazing impact on your overall health. There are certainly some myths out there about strength training — it makes you look bulky, it doesn’t burn many calories, etc. — but that’s exactly what they are. Myths. We’re going to break down all the reasons you should lift weights and explain why these myths aren’t worth listening to. Read on for the best benefits of strength training. And then you’ve got some fun work ahead of you.
It Helps You Burn Fat Faster
Remember the myth about strength training making you look bulky? This is a common thing women are afraid of, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Men have about 17 times more testosterone in their bodies than women do, so it’s nearly impossible for women to get bulky like the meatheads you see in the gym (unless they’re taking some serious steroids).
Instead of getting bulky, weightlifting will actually help you burn fat faster. It increases lean muscle mass in the body, which helps you burn more calories when you’re at a resting state. For example, when you do a strength-training session in the morning, you’ll burn more calories throughout the day than if you did cardio that morning. If you want to increase your resting metabolism and post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), pick up some weights.
It Gives You Strong Bones
When a muscle contracts, it pulls on the bones it’s attached to, and the result is cell stimulation within the bone. This produces structural proteins and moves minerals to the bone. Weight-bearing exercises also provide light stress on the body, which strengthens the bones. A 12-week study showed that regularly squatting increased the bone mineral density by 2.9 percent in the lower spine and 4.9 percent in the femur.
It Improves Your Physique
It’s totally OK to acknowledge that strength training has great external effects on the body too. When you increase the lean muscle mass in the body and reduce fat, you end up with a leaner, more toned figure. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating that! And if you end up gaining a few pounds or not losing weight (muscle is more dense than fat, so it will end up weighing more), it doesn’t matter because you’ll likely fit into your clothes better.
It Controls Blood Sugar Levels
Let’s get past the physical benefits and talk about all the great things strength training does for your internal health. A 2013 study showed that strength training improves the muscle’s ability to take in and use glucose, also known as blood sugar. This will help you decrease your blood sugar levels or at least control them to a healthy amount.
It Reduces Risk For Diseases and Cancers
Visceral fat is connected a wide number of cancers and chronic diseases. If you’re able to reduce visceral fat in the body and strengthen your heart through weightlifting, you could reduce your risk for pain and suffering in the future. Studies have even shown that cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy treatments have a more positive outcome if they exercise and do strength training regularly.
It Puts You in a Better Mood
You’ll get rushed with a ton of happy hormones and endorphins that make you feel happy and quell stress. Studies from Harvard Medical School have shown that strength training gives you a strong mind and reduces anxiety. You might find that lifting weights in the morning will help you get through a crazy, stressful day.
It Helps Prevent Injury
A lack of mobility and flexibility is the culprit of many injuries trainers encounter, and that’s a fact I can confirm firsthand. If you increase your body’s ability to move, bend, and stretch, you’ll protect yourself from a lot of preventable injuries. So pick up those weights and build your body to be stronger and more resilient!