Why should we lift weights?

We hear a lot of people going on about the benefits of strength training, but why exactly should we lift weights? Aside from the aesthetic reasons (Which does tend to be why a lot of people start in the first place), there are numerous physical and mental health benefits.

Here’s a list containing some of the main reasons why weight training is considered good for you:

  • Increased Muscle Mass: Weight training helps you build and maintain muscle mass. This is particularly important as you age, as it can help prevent muscle loss and maintain functional strength.
  • Improved Metabolism: Muscle tissue burns more calories at rest compared to fat tissue. By increasing your muscle mass through weight training, you can boost your metabolism, which can aid in weight management and fat loss.
  • Bone Health: Weight-bearing exercises like weight training stimulate bone growth and density, which can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
  • Better Joint Health: When done with proper form, weight training can strengthen the muscles around your joints, helping to reduce the risk of injury and alleviate joint pain in some cases.
  • Increased Strength and Power: Weight training improves your physical strength and power, making everyday tasks easier and reducing the risk of injury during activities.
  • Improved Posture: Strengthening the muscles that support your spine and core can help you maintain better posture, reducing the risk of back pain and discomfort.
  • Enhanced Athletic Performance: Weight training is essential for athletes in many sports as it can improve endurance, speed, agility, and overall performance.
  • Hormonal Benefits: Weight training can stimulate the release of hormones like testosterone and growth hormone, which play a role in muscle growth, recovery, and overall health.
  • Heart Health: Regular weight training can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease by improving cholesterol levels and reducing body fat.
  • Mental Health Benefits: Exercise, including weight training, has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, improve mood, and boost self-esteem and confidence.
  • Better Insulin Sensitivity: Weight training can enhance insulin sensitivity, helping to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Enhanced Flexibility: Proper weight training programs often include stretching exercises, which can improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Increased Energy Levels: Regular weight training can boost energy levels and combat fatigue.
  • Weight Control: Weight training, in combination with a balanced diet, can help with weight management by increasing lean body mass and calorie expenditure.
  • Aging Benefits: As you age, maintaining muscle strength and mass becomes increasingly important for functional independence and a higher quality of life.

It’s essential to note that proper technique and progressive overload (gradually increasing the resistance) are crucial when engaging in weight training to maximise benefits and minimise the risk of injury. Additionally, it’s wise to consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have underlying health conditions or concerns.

Weight training is a live style rather than a short term fix for a specific problem, embrace it and enjoy the journey