Lifting weights is by far my favorite way to exercise. There are so many health benefits to it, and it’s good for those of us who need instant gratification. It’s much faster for me to see my biceps tone up than it is for my saddlebags to decrease ;) It reminds me every time that my hard work is paying off!
I would love to chat about these awesome reasons with each of you over a cup of amazing fair-trade coffee, but chances are that’s just not gonna happen. Please settle for this blog instead ;)
I am going to start out with a BANG! I’ve read tons of articles about this topic, but very few seem to mention this one…
Muscle Decreases with Age
Non-strength training adults lose anywhere from 3-5 pounds of muscle per decade after age 30! (I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty young at 30, so I don’t like this statistic! The glory days are over, eh?) To make that even better, they lose one-quarter of a pound of muscle per YEAR after age 40. Since muscle mass is related to our metabolism, that is decreasing as well so it’s harder to lose fat. People tend to gain weight as they age, but it’s usually unhealthy fat instead of disease fighting muscle.
I feel like my list could potentially stop there. If you are over 25, your frontal lobes should be fully developed for the most part, so planning for your future and making good decisions should be your THING! Right?! I’m sure you are all saying “I will lift for current AND future me! Hooray!” But in case some of you are not saying that (yet), my list will continue.
Cardio vs. Lifting
If we increase our muscle mass, we will increase our metabolism. This means we burn more calories when we do things like nap, cook, or watch our favorite show (Modern Family, anyone?). If you have been doing only cardio, some research shows there’s a chance you are losing a little bit of muscle as you lose fat. Lifting weights comes with the added bonus of increasing your metabolism directly after a workout- you burn more calories for 24 to up to 72 hours afterwards! And that’s in addition to the overall increase. Can I get a “woohoo!”?
Some of the health benefits of lifting include fighting heart disease (which is the #1 killer of women), metabolic syndrome, some cancers, and it can even lower your blood pressure (for 10-12 hours after). Lifting weights specifically decreases our belly fat, which not only helps us to feel more confident, but fights against the many diseases associated with deep abdominal fat.
There are many more reasons to lift weights, but I’ll close with my favorites. Lifting creates tone and definition, which improves our looks and our confidence. No ladies, you will not bulk up, and yes guys, you can (which is encouraged!). I also appreciate that it makes daily life and chores easier, since I can lift heavier things and have more endurance. All with the added bonus of STRESS RELIEF, which is important to everyone around you! ;)
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(It’s always encouraged to double-check with your doctor before starting. So get on that!)
Andersen, Charlotte Hilton. “8 Reasons Why you Should Lift Heavier Weights.” Shape Magazine. 01 Aug 2013. Web. 04 Oct 2013. .
Bergen, Jenna. “9 Reasons you Should Lift Weights.” Prevention. Nov 2012. Web. 04 Oct 2013. .
Green, Daniel J, Ed. Ace Personal Training Manual, Fourth Edition. San Diego; American Council on Exercise, 2010. Print.
Melone, Linda. “8 Reasons Why Women Should Lift Weights.” Livestrong. 13 Aug 2013. Web. 04 Oct 2013. .
I agree with garymar: cortolarien does not mean causation! It may be that people who do resistance training care about their health more generally and eat a healthy diet, watch their weight etc. These factors may be responsible for the reduction of metabolic syndrome in these individuals rather than the resistance training. I don’t think this study has proved things one way or the other. Then again the Science Daily may not have reported the findings accurately – just picked on a headline soundbite!