Have you ever been interested in weight training but sceptical of what type of person weight training is really for? Or maybe you’re stuck in a cardio rut. You’re jogging a few miles in the morning and waiting to see the fat melt off but it never goes away. Maybe you’re at the beginning of your weight loss journey. You don’t know what the magical & winning combination between cardio and weight lifting looks like. Whoever you are, and no matter what stage of fitness you’re in, you should know the incredible benefits weight training will have on your body. So, before you write off weight lifting to the boys in tank tops, let’s take a look at five key health benefits of weight training.
1. You’ll lose that stubborn belly fat.
Often times its those last few inches around the midsection that haunt your endless cardio efforts. This is because cardio does not raise your metabolic rate like weight lifting does. When you lift weights you’re increasing muscle mass. And muscle burns through calories faster, meaning it requires more of your body’s energy when it is at rest. So, even when you are finished lifting weights for the day, your body will burn through the calories you consume faster. You’ll be crushing those last few inches.
2. It strengthens your bones.
Yes, of course, your muscles grow stronger. But most people don’t realise the incredible effects weight lifting has on your bones. Having strong bones reduces the risk of injury, especially as you age. As you get older, your bone mass begins to go away due to improper nutrition over the years, lack of activity, and general age-related body changes. So, if you don’t keep your bones strong, you could break bones far more easily as you get older. Lifting weights gets the bones used to bearing pressure, and slows down the natural dystrophy as you get older.
3. You’ll perform better during your cardio workouts.
This one is for all of you dreading the thought of adding weight lifting into your precious weekly workout routine. Whether you are a runner, swimmer or cyclist, lifting weights will absolutely enhance your cardio performance. For instance, if you’re a runner, lifting weights with your legs will strengthen your lower extremity muscles. This will help propel you from your starting position and improve your pace overall as you take each stride. If you take time to lift weights around your abdomen, chest, and back; you will strengthen your core. This will increase speed and maintain your posture, reducing the risk of injury.
4. You’ll burn more calories when you’re resting.
Yes, it’s true! You can actually burn more calories when your body is resting if you lift weights. As aforementioned, muscles require more energy expenditure from your body than fat does. This means your body burns more calories when you have more muscles. When your body burns up its simple sugars and carbs, it will begin to burn its reserved fuel, which is, you guessed it, fat! Don’t be surprised if you begin to gain weight after you start a weight training regimen. Muscles weigh more than fat, but they also take up less room. So, don’t be alarmed if you see the scale numbers climbing. Your inches are most likely melting away.
5. You will be more flexible.
You might be surprised to find out that weight training can have similar or even greater effects than stretching on your flexibility. The key is to perform your weight training exercises in a proper full range of motion. In a recent study performed on 25 college students, each participant was assigned to either a five-week stretching program or a five-week weight training program. This is to test which program increased the student’s flexibility. The results were astounding. Weight training either outperformed stretching or was just as effective (depending on the muscle group).
So what do the health benefits of weight training mean for you?
These are just five practical benefits weight training will have on your overall wellness. Not to mention, you’ll look healthy. You’ll feel strong. And studies suggest an increase in muscle mass can run parallel to an increase in self-confidence. Maybe you don’t know where to begin with weight training. Or perhaps you’re intimidated by large gyms where everyone looks like they know what they are doing. If that sounds like you, check out personal training in a fully equipped training studio. Whether its toning up, crushing those last few inches around the belly or building more personal confidence, weight training is for everyone. It can benefit anyone. Strong is healthy. Strong is sexy!