Why should you bother with working out, more specifically, why should weight training be part of your weekly routine?
Working out with weights provides a lot of benefits that cardio alone can`t do.
Weight Training For Fat Loss
This is probably the biggest misunderstanding when it comes to weight training.
Most people have been told that cardio (aerobic training) is the key to fat loss when in actuality it comes in third behind good eating habits and weight training in a list of importance.
Muscle requires more calories for upkeep than fat. So when you are resting the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn while doing a whole lot of nothing.
There is also a good chance that you will lose muscle along with the fat if you are only dieting and doing cardio.
The more muscle you lose, the harder it is to keep the fat you worked so hard to get rid of from coming back.
See Also: How To Build Muscle At Home
You Burn More Calories
Weight lifting boosts your metabolism during your workout, just like cardio does.
But after the workout is complete your metabolism stays raised for several hours AFTER when you have weight trained. When you finish with cardio, your metabolism slows back to it’s normal rate.
People who lift weights burn a greater percentage of fat during this time than people who don’t.
You also burn more calories during your workout session when you weight train. The energy you spend lifting and pressing against resistance rivals that of your cardio session.
One hour of running at a manageable pace on a treadmill could net a burn of 300 calories or so compared to a 350-400 calorie an hour workout session from weight training.
You Stay Young
As you age, your muscle fibers start to decrease. Your fast twitch muscle fibers are the ones affected the most.
This is a problem mainly because your fast twitch muscle fibers are the ones responsible for generating power and speed (great for sports of course). But they are also responsible for simple movements like rising from a chair.
It’s this loss of muscle fibers that makes it difficult for the elderly to get up out of their seated position.
It’s like the old saying goes “use it or lose it” and this is especially true with muscle as you age.
Lifting weights (especially heavy lifting) helps preserve existing muscle and promote new muscle growth. This in turn keeps you able to move and do the things you want to do as you age.
Weight Training Increases Bone Density
Strong bones are great to ward off breaks from collisions or falls when you are young and full of energy. They are vital when you are older and slip and fall to the ground.
As you get older you lose bone density right along with the muscle loss mentioned before.
Lifting weights helps promote muscle growth. Those muscles grow and bring with them more capillaries that feed into the bones themselves. Thereby helping with bone density and strength and offsetting the effects of osteoporosis.
Weight Training For Flexibility
Yes you read that right. Resistance training can help develop more flexibility in the shoulders, hips and legs when applied properly. Lack of use over time leads to less and less available range of motion.
If you squat, bend, push and pull as you would with resistance training and do so in the full range of motion (not partial lifts) you can reap the benefits of added flexibility.
Research has found that Olympic lifters are second only to gymnasts in their flexibility rating.
See Also: How To Build Muscle On Back
Weight Training And Heart Health
Lifting weights can really get your heart racing, especially when you perform compound movements like squats or deadlifts or pull ups.
When you get your heart pumping hard during your weight training routine you are increasing strength of your heart. And also increasing the amount of blood you pump out with each stroke.
Cardiovascular improvement is not only a function of aerobic exercise.
Total body workouts are the kind that can decrease the diastolic blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
You Sleep Better
Training hard with weights in hand helps you rest better.
Research has found that people who perform three total body wrokouts per week for 8 weeks experienced a 23 percent improvement in sleep quality.
These people were also able to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer than before they started weight training. Want some rest? Knock yourself out with our total body workouts.
You Stay Sharp
Researchers have found that men and women who resistance trained three times per week for 6 months significantly decreased their blood levels of homocysteine.
It is a protein that is linked to the development of dementia and Alheimer’s disease.
You Fight Off Depression
Scientists have found that regular weight training significantly reduces symptoms of major depression.
Researchers report that improvement was seen in 60 percent of clinically diagnosed patients. This is similar to the response rate from antidepressants, but without negative side effects.
You Look Better
Between the ages of 30 and 50 you are likely to lose 10 percent of the total muscle on your body. That percentage can easily double by the time you hit age 60.
On top of that, the weight in muscle you end up losing comes back in the form of fat. To make matters worse, 1 pound of fat takes up 18 percent more space on your body than muscle does.
So as you lose the muscle and gain fat, you are also gaining size in your waistline. Training with resistance regularly can prevent a lot of this, so grab some weights and our workout and get busy!