Whether you are lifting weights at home or at the gym, many studies show that it has multiple physical & mental benefits to your health. Unlike what some people may think, the benefits of lifting weights go far and beyond aesthetics purposes. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends resistance training -a type of exercise that improves muscular strength and endurance- two times a week.
Although older people tend to Benefit greatly from lifting weights, unfortunately over 80% of adults in Australia don’t do activities that strengthen their muscles.
Before we go over the benefits of lifting weights, you should be aware of one misconception that might even be preventing you from benefiting from this health-promoting activity. You are not going to get bulky or look overly muscular just by lifting weights regularly. Reaching that point takes a lot of effort, time and dedication, and you don’t need to worry about starting to look like a bodybuilder.
With this said, let’s go over some of the benefits of lifting weights:
1. Burn calories after training: With a weightlifting workout your body will continue to burn calories for more than 36 hours. This is because resistance training speeds up your metabolism.
2. Increases lean muscle mass: Increasing lean muscle mass will not only contribute to your metabolism but will transform your fitness. Plus, lifting weights allows you to focus your workout on specific body areas.
3. Improves bone health. Studies show that physical inactivity decreases bone health, and resistance training provided by weightlifting provides an important mechanical load for improving and increasing bone density.
4. Better heart health: Both cardio training and weightlifting contribute to cardiovascular health. Balancing your blood pressure, controlling weight, improving cardiovascular function, muscle strength, endurance and metabolism are the main points beneficial to your heart.
5. Reduces stress: Physical training, in general, helps reduce stress. Weightlifting is a great and healthy way to release tensions after a long day at work.
6. Better sleep: Weight training helps you sleep better because it stimulates the release of serotonin, which increases the levels of melatonin in the body, a hormone that is involved in the synchronization of the natural cycle of sleep and wakefulness.
7. Burn calories while you sleep: Over time, the increase in muscle mass causes the basal metabolism to increase. Basal metabolism refers to the calories that are burned when we do not perform any physical activity. That is, it is the energy needed to maintain the proper functioning of the organs, breathing, body temperature, etc. Therefore, even when we rest, our body is burning more calories.
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