By: Ryan Carlton
By reputation, it might be assumed that weight training is solely the domain of super-buff fitness fanatics. In reality, strength training is one of the best forms of exercise there is — for everyone. Anyone who cares about their health and wellbeing should do some work with weights. Read on to find the seven powerful, important reasons to take up weight training.
1. It slows aging. While the negative effects of aging can never be stopped, they can be mitigated. Muscle mass decreases as the years pass. The best way to counteract this trend is to practice strength training. Besides fighting frailty and weakness, working with weights also helps maintain balance and coordination.
2. Stronger bones. You can’t directly strengthen your bones. Instead, bones becomes stronger and larger as muscles grow (albeit at a much slower pace). Lifting weights will increase bone density, making the skeletal system stronger and more resistant to fractures. Having strong bones becomes ever more important as the years pass and age-related conditions like osteoporosis become a greater risk.
3. It burns calories. Working out with weights doesn’t get the heart pumping nearly as much as does aerobic exercise. However, it still does burn a decent amount of calories — and every bit helps. In addition, greater muscle mass results in a faster resting metabolism. Muscle cells burn calories at a relatively high rate even when the body is not undergoing exertion.
4. You’ll look better. We all care about how we look. Pretending otherwise is pointless. Gaining muscle is one of the best ways to become more attractive. While this is particularly true for men, women also look better with a stronger, more toned body. Being attractive extends beyond simply how you look in the mirror, as well. Looking good increases confidence and self-respect.
5. Protection from injury and pain. A stronger body is more capable of resisting injury. Many common injuries and conditions occur at least partially because of weak, inadequate muscles. For example, chronic back pain is often the result of muscles that are incapable of properly supporting the lower back.
6. You’ll be happier. Weight training, like any exercise, is an incredible way to enhance psychological wellbeing. That’s because working out triggers the release of endorphins, the brain chemicals associated with positive emotions. Exercise is thus the best natural stress reliever there is. Overcoming challenges also enhances psychological resilience.
7. Greater strength. Obviously, the most direct benefit of weight training is added strength. Aside from the self-confidence strength can bestow, being stronger has practical, real-world advantages. Many common, everyday body movements depend upon bodily strength. Think of carrying groceries, household chores, carrying children, or yard work.
Everyone should be interested in healthy living — and everyone interested in healthy living should be interested in weight training. Doing weight work is simply one of the best ways to enhance the body’s abilities, maintain health, and aid wellbeing.