Why should you weight train? If you’re like most people, you likely believe that the only reason anyone should weight train is to bulk up and gain bigger muscles. While it’s true that the right training regimen can lead to increases in muscle size and strength, the benefits of weight training go far beyond bulking up.
10 Benefits of Weight Training
1. Optimal Fat Burning. Regular weight training helps you burn more fat even while you’re at rest. Lifting weights has been shown to increase the number of calories that a person can burn per day by 15%, and studies show that people who strength train burn fat at a faster rate than those who do not.
2. More Tone and Definition. Strength training improves the tone and definition of the muscles, creating a more sculpted physique. You’ll look better in short sleeves, shorts and your swimsuit when you weight train regularly.
3. Stronger Bones. Studies have found that weight training helps to improve bone mass, which can help to reduce the risk of fractures and the development of osteoporosis with age.
4. Better Posture. In order to stand up and sit straight, you need to engage many muscle groups. If these muscles aren’t strong enough to support your body, you can develop rounded shoulders and a hunched back. Regular strength training leads to gradual improvements in posture, which can have the added benefit of relieving back and neck pain.
5. Stress Relief. Lifting weights allows you to release physical tension from your body and can greatly lower stress levels. In addition, studies have found that brain chemicals released during strength training workouts can improve mood and ease symptoms of depression.
6. Healthier Heart. Strength training helps to condition the cardiovascular system over time, reducing your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Research shows that weight lifting can lower levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol, reduce blood pressure levels and increase levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol to promote a healthy heart.
7. Less Risk of Disease. Science has shown that weight lifting on a consistent basis reduces one’s risk of developing many serious diseases, including type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer.
8. Boosts the Immune System. Regular strength training workouts can improve the functioning of the immune system, so that your resistance to germs increases. Frequent workouts can greatly decrease your risk of developing colds and flu throughout the year.
9. Flexibility Gains. As you strengthen your muscles and the connective tissue with workouts, your flexibility will begin to improve. Not only will this make it easier for you to bend, twist and reach, but it also decreases the likelihood of straining a muscle when you’re completing chores or DIY jobs around the house.
10. Improved Performance. Weight training can help athletes improve their performance with enhanced endurance and the ability to make faster, more explosive movements. Even if you’re not an athlete, you’ll enjoy greater stamina and even improved mental clarity and focus from strength training regularly.
These are some of the many benefits of strength training that you can enjoy. Major results do take time, but you’ll begin noticing subtle improvements in your health, well-being and physique rather quickly.