Contrary to popular belief, there is much more to lifting weights than simply sculpting an enviable physique, as regular resistance training boasts a myriad of health benefits that can dramatically increase your quality of life, health, and general well-being. In fact, lifting weights on a regular basis paired with a healthy and sound nutrition plan can exude higher results as opposed to sticking with traditional, steady-state cardio-based workouts.
Your body requires more energy to maintain and build muscle mass, and thus by building muscle, you are able to consume more calories daily. This means that you won’t gain unwanted, and potentially unhealthy fat around your waistline and in other areas of your body. Additionally, weightlifting supports faster fat loss and builds up your immune system. Your central nervous system strengthens, your bone density improves, and you gain functional strength that directly translates into your daily life.
Here are the top benefits of lifting weights and why you should take up weightlifting to ensure a happy, strong, and healthy future.
Increased fat loss
While you are able to burn calories during your traditional cardio routine, weight training produces higher Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC. This means your metabolism is still going strong for hours and days after an intense resistance-based workout.
Research has shown that weight training is able to produce higher EPOC levels for thirty-eight hours after your workout. Therefore, you continue to burn fat well into the second day after your training session.
Traditional cardio, on the other hand, supports calorie burning during the workout, but after you’ve stopped exercising, you’ve also stopped burning calories. In order to cut excess body fat, you should opt for moderate-to-high-rep strength training coupled with a healthy diet plan as opposed to sticking to cardio and diet alone.
Sticking to weight training will induce higher levels of HGH (Human Growth Hormone), which is a potent fat burning agent and a moderate anabolic. This means that high-rep strength training will not only help you burn more fat stores, but also gain muscle mass faster.
The more muscle mass you have, the more fat you’ll burn while allowing the fat you do have to disperse across your frame. This will result in a sculpted, lean, and strong physique.
Building functional muscle mass and overall strength
Weightlifting is the single best way to increase lean muscle mass, become stronger, and build a functional, aesthetic body. Apart from creating an aesthetic physique, lifting weights builds functionality through heavy movements and lean muscle growth.
Focus on heavy compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts and presses, coupled with isolation movements to bring up lagging body parts. You will not only tone your body and increase lean muscle tissue, you will also build important functional patterns that will translate into your daily life.
By doing heavy squats, you will develop your lower body and increase your leg strength and explosive power. This will allow you to sprint and run longer, and jump higher than before. On the other hand, by doing deadlifts, you will learn to pick up heavy objects from the ground without the risk of injury.
Finally, the bench press and the overhead press movements will build raw power in your entire body, allowing you to develop total body strength and explosiveness.
Improves mental prowess
According to the American Journal of Lifestyle and Medicine, in an article published by Amenda Ramirez and Len Kravitz, Ph.D., strength training is considered to be a powerful preventative measure in numerous mental illnesses, including anxiety and depression. Moreover, strength training positively influences a myriad of bodily processes.
Lowering the risk of mortality, strengthening cardiovascular health, improving body composition, glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, lowering blood pressure – all of these benefits play a key role in improving your mental capabilities and elevating your quality of life.
Remember, within a healthy body resides a healthy mind, and scientists readily agree with the age-old adage.
Translated into simple terms, strength and weight training helps you build mental acuity and prowess, increasing your productivity and focus in everyday life. Because of its hormone-stabilizing effects, weightlifting is also able to regulate your overall mood, helping you battle depression and anxiety and lead an all-around happier lifestyle.
In addition, weightlifting has shown to be exceptionally beneficial in improving the brain’s processing ability (brain cognition) in all age groups, from children to senior adults as well. Seniors in particular can benefit from weight training through improved mental performance, but also through increased muscle strength and size, as well as bone density.
Supports bone density
Weight training builds and strengthens the bones in your body. It is not only highly beneficial for developing children in order to grow into strong, able adults, it is also highly beneficial for seniors as well. By training with weights, senior citizens are able to rebuild and strengthen their fragile bones, thus elevating their quality of life and warding off numerous age-related illnesses.
By training with moderate to high resistance, you will be able to avoid common injuries such as knee and shoulder problems, bulging disks, bone fractures, etc. Lastly, weightlifting will also help you prevent or postpone osteoporosis and other common bone illness that comes with advanced age.
Building a healthy future
Finally, and speaking of advanced age, weightlifting uses all of the aforementioned benefits to help you create a happy, strong and thriving future. Investing your time in training with weights is an investment into a long and happy life, one imbued with mental clarity, total-body strength, and positivity.
By combining your weightlifting regime with a sound nutrition plan based on rich protein sources, healthy carbs, and fats, and by staying safe at all times by wearing quality weightlifting clothes, you will be able to shed fat throughout your life’s journey, and sculpt an aesthetic and healthy physique.
Weightlifting boasts a myriad of physical and mental health benefits that far exceed other forms of training, with pending research yet to discover what this increasingly popular style of training has in store for the human body and mind. One thing is certain though; weightlifting truly is the way to a healthy life.
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