There are a lot of great reasons you should be lifting weights, but number one on the list is because it is beneficial to your health. Much like following a healthy diet, lifting weights is the type of activity that will have a long term impact on your life and your ability to enjoy it.
People often take things for granted. Our health is one such thing. It is easy to remember those carefree days of youth when we could do pretty much anything. It didn’t matter much what we ate or how we treated our bodies. Injuries and illness were easily overcome by a body that was heading towards its peak, full of hormones, and primed to grow. But what goes up must come down.
After those days pass, then it is a fight to keep your body in line. It naturally wants to deteriorate. For people who just sit around and let it happen, health concerns will set in. For those who fight back, they can actually keep many issues at bay.
So how can lifting weights affect your health?
Heart Health – This is a very important factor. Heart disease and blood circulation issues are a big problem for people as they get older. Performing moderately intense exercise with weights can create a great increase of blood flow to the limbs. Bodybuilders typically call this “the pump”. It also can lead to a drop in blood pressure after working out of up to 20 percent. Those are both things you cannot get by simply doing cardiovascular exercise.
Injury Reduction – This is a key point. As people age, getting injured becomes easier and lasts longer. There are many reasons. One is coordination seems to be reduced over time as people lose touch with their bodies. Lifting weights can help increase agility and improve balance and coordination. Also bones and muscles will naturally lose strength after age 30. Weight training can help stop that process and even help increase muscle and bone strength. Finally joints and tendons can become weaker. Those links are kept in better condition with proper training.
Mood – This is a very important factor in a person’s health. A negative mood can easily be linked to health problems. On the flip side, a positive mood tends to work towards a healthier lifestyle. You feel good, you feel good about yourself, and you are motivated to take care of yourself. You are relaxed and sleep better. It becomes a cycle that you don’t want to break. Workouts can release endorphins in the brain, improve body image, and can increase your confidence.
Brain Usage – Your brain benefits from working out. As the body works with physical activity, the nervous system forms stronger pathways as you master a movement. This in turn works the brain as it tries to fine tune the motor functions you are undertaking, which is difficult because balance is being tested by the resistance of the weights.
There are additional factors such as weight control, fat loss, preventing diabetes, increased ability to transfer oxygen, and increased flexibility. Really, when you consider it there are so many reasons why you should be lifting weights that the real question should be, why aren’t you lifting weights? Even training twice a week for 30 minutes will have a tremendous affect on your overall quality of life and more than likely, length of that life.