Besides making your body look good, weight training also has many important health benefits that you may not want to pass. Keep reading to find out how weight training can help your overall health.
Muscle fights fat.
As you gain lean muscle, your metabolism increases. With a higher metabolism you burn more calories throughout the day. Basically, for each pound of muscle you gain, you’ll burn 35 to 50 more calories per day. Think of it in the long term! More muscles means more pizza slices without feeling guilty. And that’s a pretty good feeling.
Reduced depression symptoms.
You’ve probably already heard that exercise in general is good for mental health, but a new study has found that weight training in particular has a positive impact on the brain.
A research by the University of Limerick shows that weight lifting is associated with “a significant reduction in depressive symptoms”.
Strength training is great for your mental health because it is empowering, confidence-boosting and satisfying to see yourself progress.
We suggest slowly adding weight training to your workouts, 2 to 3 times a week at first.
Resistance training can take many forms: free weights, TRX suspension training, resistance bands, machines or even bodyweight.
BEGINNER TIP: Machines are great for beginners since you can’t really go wrong with them. Each machine is designed for one exercise and the range of motion is fixed. That way you will avoid injuries that could happen with a bad technique.
Say bye to weak bones!
As we get older, we lose muscle mass and bone density. Therefore, people with already smaller bones (women for instance) will have more risks to have osteoporosis (weak bones) when they age. Weight training not only trains muscles, but bones also. It may even help build new bone.
Keeping strong muscles aids with strength, balance and coordination as well, and therefore prevents falls that can lead to osteoporosis-related fractures.
Weight training will help you age better, as you’ll maintain a good amount of muscle mass and won’t feel weak and tired as much.
It will make your life easier.
Weight training increases your body-awareness. It teaches you how to perform daily movements correctly. Lifting your grocery bags or your child will be easier because you will be able to activate the right muscles at the right time and engage your core without even having to think about it.
No more back pain.
Weight lifting helps strengthen your core muscles, which are those that support your spine. Sitting at a desk all day can destroy your lower back. A stronger core will lessen this discomfort and even undo some of the damage caused by sitting all day.
Squats and planks are the best exercises for stronger core muscles.
Lower your diabetes risk.
Diabetes increases worldwide. The World Health Organisation predicts that by 2030, the disease will be the 7th cause of death. Along with eating healthy and exercising regularly, weightlifting plays a significant role in reducing the risk of having diabetes.
Weight lifting can help regulate blood sugar levels. Studies have found that resistance training increases white muscle, which aids in lowering blood glucose. About five 30-minute sessions a week and reduce your risk by 34%, or up to 59% if you add regular cardiovascular exercise.
Your heart will thank you.
Weight-train your heart! Studies have found that that there was up to 20% decrease in blood pressure after 45 minutes of moderate-intensity strength training. This equals -or even surpasses- taking anti-hypertensive drugs. This effect lasted for about 30 minutes after the end of the workout but it can continue for as long as 24 hours in people who weight-train regularly.
You’ll be mentally stronger.
Feeling stronger physically makes you feel stronger mentally. Weight training teaches you perseverance and the ability to push yourself out of your comfort zone when everything tells you to stop. When your muscles start to give up and burn and hurt, you have a choice: you can either stop and go back to your comfort level, or you can push through and enjoy the reward of feeling accomplished and stronger than before.
Good Zzz’s garanteed.
Exercise in general helps you sleep better, but weight training will make you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply, especially if you train in the morning. A study conducted on students found that the ones who weight trained fell asleep 20 to 45 minutes faster than the ones who hadn’t worked out that day.
A good night’s sleep promotes hormone balance and aids muscle repair and growth.
We want to hear from you!
How often do you weight train? Have you experienced any of these benefits? How do you motivate yourself for a workout? Let us know in the comments.