Most of us relate weight training to bulky muscles and perky biceps. But the truth is strength training should be an important part of life. It increases your general fitness levels. Lifting weights can be good for bones, shape, balance and coordination, and weight loss.
People who care about fitness have been strength training for years. But do you know why? It’s not just about bulky biceps or perky pecs, strength training is actually very healthy for your body in lots of ways.
5 Reasons You Need To Know
1. Good For Your Bones
Your bones are the framework of your whole body, giving its shape and size. Your muscles are attached to the bones, and are the main method of locomotion for your body.
When you’re moving your muscles, the bones move, too. Which also means that when you’re stressing the muscles (like we do when we lift weights), we’re stressing the bones, too.
Your bones react to this stress by producing more osteoblasts (bone-strengthening cells), becoming denser and stronger. Regular resistance exercise can increase bone density at any age – great news for older adults who can be at risk of osteopenia or osteoporosis (lack of bone density).
2. Good For Your Shape
Building lean muscle tissue can dramatically change the shape of your body, especially if you have previously been sedentary. Non-active bodies tend to collect fat around the midsection and hips.
Lifting weights regularly will cause the muscles to increase in size (and also decrease in fat), which will make your arms appear shapely, your abs flatter, your legs leaner and your butt rounder. Your whole body will take on more firmness and less “jiggle” from weight training.
3. Good For Your Balance And Coordination
Many people start working out with weight machines, which are terrific for learning how to isolate muscle movements and gain strength.
As you advance your training, it’s a great idea to work with free weights such as dumbbells, Kettlebells or a barbell. Using free weights from a standing, kneeling, half-kneeling or single leg position challenges your brain to move your body through space and your body to move with precision, which increases your coordination and balance.
4. Good For Weight Loss
Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat, which means that it takes more calories to sustain a pound of muscle than a pound of fat. Therefore, building muscle tissue with regular resistance workouts can dramatically increase your body’s need for calories.
If, however, you choose to eat the same or few calories, you can enter a caloric deficit, which will lead to weight loss.
5. Good For Your Mood And Confidence
Any regular exercise program will improve your mood through the release of hormones called endorphins, but strength training in particular can be a real benefit to your confidence. Lifting weights is tough! Finishing a difficult workout feels like an accomplishment and can boost your self-esteem.
Total Body Strength Training For Beginners And Beyond
Are you ready to give strength training a try? Check with your health care practitioner first, especially if you have concerns about your current fitness. A simple beginner workout like this one can be repeated once or twice a week to start seeing changes in your muscles and your body.