Ten Reasons to Lift Weights
Why Should You Consider Resistance Training?
The Top 10 Reasons To Lift Weights
While cardio exercise has it’s benefits (and we will cover than in another blog post), it’s all too easy to forget that lifting weights, strength training, resistance training or weight training (any term will do) is also very beneficial. In this article, we'll outline why we think lifting weights is as important as cardio and exactly why you should consider breaking through the cardio/weights barrier in The Trim Gym on a regular basis!
1. Increased bone mass.
Bone mass naturally declines with age, especially in women. This is partly due to reduction in the production of hormones such as testosterone, human growth hormone and estrogen and also because of lack of weight-bearing activity. Regular strength training workouts can lessen bone loss, promote an increase in bone mass and reduce the likelihood of developing osteoporosis – a medical condition characterized by brittle and porous bones.
2. Improved functional strength.
It’s hardly surprising that lifting weights increases the strength of your muscles but to why should you care?! Being strong will mean that everyday activities such as DIY, shopping and gardening are much less stressful as you have sufficient strength in reserve to make these demanding tasks easier. Being stronger also means that you will perform your sport of choice more effectively. By choosing exercises appropriate to your chosen sport you can increase your sports-specific performance.
3. Increased metabolic rate.
More muscle mass means a higher total daily energy expenditure. This means that it’s easier to lose weight and then maintain your weight. Building muscle, even a small amount, is a bit like putting a larger engine in your car. You’ll burn more energy not just while you workout but all the time – even while you sleep!
4. Better joint health.
Contrary to popular belief, strength training can enhance joint health but only if you perform your exercises using correct lifting technique. Developing the muscles that surround your joints means greater joint stability and also helps to keep your joints mobile.
5. Increased core strength.
Your core or midsection bridges the gap between your arms and legs. A strong core helps to protect your lower back and can help reduce your chances of suffering back pain. A strong core means that your muscles take the strain when you are bending and lifting as opposed to your spine, ligaments and inter-vertebral discs.
6. Improved Posture.
Posture (good posture at any rate) can be defined as the correct alignment of your joints so that passive structures are not placed under any undue and potentially injurious forces. Tongue twisters aside, appropriate strength training exercises can be used to strengthen the muscles most involved in maintaining good posture, specifically those on the back of your body.
7. Increased muscle tone.
Firm, shapely muscles are a product of both diet and exercise but there is no doubt that lifting weights on a regular basis is the most effective way to target your muscles. By choosing appropriate exercises you can focus on your problem areas and ensure that they are as firm and well developed as possible. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can spot-reduce fat though as this is a myth. You can, however, lose fat through diet and general exercise while simultaneously targeting your underlying muscles with strength training.
8. Improved resistance to injury.
Muscle injuries (pulls, strains and tears) are usually the result of overexertion – asking your body to do more than it is able. Most muscle-related injuries occur not in the gym but while carrying out normal daily activities such as DIY or gardening. Regular strength training can reduce your chances of suffering such an unfortunate incident and go a long way in injury-proofing your body.
9. Increased anabolic hormone secretion.
Its okay – you aren’t going to suddenly look like you are on steroids but as we age, anabolic (tissue growing) hormone levels tend to decline and this is one of the reasons we lose muscle and get weaker with age. Lifting weights increase both testosterone levels and growth hormone levels which, in very simple terms, help to keep you looking and feeling younger for longer!
10. Improved insulin sensitivity.
After eating carbohydrates, your blood glucose levels rise. Sustained elevation of blood glucose, called hyperglycemia, is linked to everything from diabetes to aging to cancer. Regular strength training increases your sensitivity to insulin, which is the hormone responsible for shunting glucose out of your blood and into your cells. This increase in insulin sensitivity lasts 24-48 hours after strength training so is a vital part in helping to maintain steady blood glucose levels and reduce your chances of suffering from hyperglycemia and its complications.
So – ten GREAT reasons to spend more time lifting weights. Thank you for your membership at The Trim Gym.