When Heavy Weight Lifting Pays Off
by Jari Love
Weight lifting isn’t just for body builders. Everyone can benefit from adding resistance weight training to their exercise regime.
#1: Stronger Bones
No I don’t mean your muscles! While of course your muscles will get stronger by lifting weights, your bones will get stronger too. Since weight-bearing exercise stimulates bone formation, bones, like muscles become stronger and denser when demands are placed on it. This is great news since it means that weight lifting reduces the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
#2: Improved Balance
Strength training strengthens and tones your muscles by contracting them against a resisting force. Increased strength and tone aids in better body mechanics resulting in better posture, balance and coordination. Improved balance can reduce your risk of falling by as much as 40 percent, which is a crucial benefit especially as you age since elderly people who lose their balance can often wind up with life-altering broken bones. Lifting weights can help you stay mobile and strong throughout your life.
#3: Improved Brain Function
Strength training helps us grow more muscle and bone cells and helps make the ones we have more powerful and effective. However, it is not just our body cells which receive these benefits. The same signals which increase muscle and bone cells also encourage growth, power and efficiency in our blood vessels and brain cells. Stronger blood vessels coupled with a stronger heart can also improve blood flow to the brain and has the potential to improve memory, slow the onset of dementia and boost overall cognitive performance.
#4: Prevent Disease
Strength training not only improves the look of your body, but can also help you stay healthier. Studies have shown an overall improvement in your body’s ability to fight inflammation, including inflammation associated with colds and flu, as well as the body’s increased capacity for glucose control good news for those at risk for diabetes. Increased heart strength reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers blood pressure, while strength training has also been found to ease the pain of osteoarthritis and reduce depression.
#5. Improved Mood
Lifting weights elevates the number of endorphins (your brain’s natural mood boosters) which makes you feel great, not to mention the self-esteem boost you receive when you look and feel strong.
#6: Burns More Calories:
Lifting weights does so much for your physique. Strength training is crucial to weight control because increased muscle mass corresponds to an increased metabolic rate. Muscle burns calories even while at rest while stored fat uses very little energy. Strength training can provide up to a 15% increase in metabolic rate, which is enormously helpful for weight loss and long-term weight control.
#7: You Eat and Sleep Better
Regular weight-lifting can make you more aware of what you put in your body. Better self-awareness makes it easier to say “no” to temptations, while people who lift weights regularly fall asleep more quickly, sleep more deeply, awaken less often, and sleep longer. Improved overall sleep quality is also key to maintaining weight loss.
Jari Love – original creator of Get RIPPED! DVD series and group exercise classes. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED! series enables individuals of any fitness level to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program, and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.