reasons why lifting weights is important for your health

Aids Weight Loss

Lifting weights helps keep you in good shape. It helps the body burn fat, during and after exercise.

After a session of strength training, you continue to consume additional oxygen over the next few hours, which is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

lifting weights aids in weight loss

When the body uses more oxygen, it needs more caloric expenditure and an increased metabolic rate. This in turn aids in shedding pounds and helps maintain weight loss, too.

Higher intensity lifting stimulates lipolysis (fat breakdown and release) and increases the body’s metabolism long after training is finished.

Plus, as weightlifting starts increasing your strength and lean muscle mass, it will help your body use calories more efficiently. This helps you lose the weight and also tone your body.

A 2006 study published in the Journal of Exercise Science and Physiotherapy analyzed the effectiveness of aerobic and strength training in causing weight loss and favorable body composition on 120 females ranging in age from 20 to 40 years.

Helps Reduce Belly Fat

Doing a workout with weights is highly effective at reducing belly fat, which is the toughest to get rid of.

A 2013 study published in the International Journal of Cardiology reports that high-intensity resistance training helps reduce belly fat much faster than cardio activity alone.

lifting weights helps reduce belly fat

Another study published in Obesity (Silver Spring) in 2015 reports that among various activities, weight training had the strongest association with less waist circumference increase.

Weight training also keeps your muscles in good shape and provides you with a well-toned body.

Strengthens Bones

Weight training exercises are good at strengthening your muscles as well as your bones.

Regular weight lifting increases bone density, which reduces the risk of fractures and osteoporosis, a condition more common in women than men. Thus, weight training is also an excellent way to combat loss of bone mass.

weight lifting strengthens your bones

A 1999 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise reports that high-intensity resistance training is helpful in improving bone health in older adults. It also has the added benefit of influencing multiple risk factors for osteoporosis, including improved strength and balance and increased muscle mass.

Another study published in Aging Clinical and Experimental Research in 2006 also sheds light on the fact that appropriate training regimens may reduce the risk of falls and the severity of fall-related injuries, and also improve functional ability and the quality of life in osteoporotic patients.

Protects the Heart

Resistance training is also beneficial for cardiovascular health.

Simple weight-bearing exercises are a great way to get the heart pumping and improve its strength. It also helps increase your high-density lipoprotein (HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol) level and lower your resting heart rate.

A lower resting heart rate means that your heart doesn’t have to work as hard on a day-to-day basis, which in turn reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, strokes, and other heart conditions.

lifting weights protects your heart

Also, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends moderate-intensity resistance training as a complement to aerobic exercise programs in the prevention, treatment and control of hypertension.

The AHA recommends adults aim for at least two strength-training sessions a week.

A 2006 study published in Circulation reports that weightlifting helps melt away visceral fat as well as fat that builds up around the body’s organs. This in turn reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

A 2010 study conducted in the College of Health Sciences’ Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science at Appalachian State University shows that resistance training has some similar effects as aerobic exercise in lowering a person’s blood pressure.

If you have a heart condition or have suffered a heart attack or stroke, seek your doctor’s advice for preparing an effective yet safe exercise program for you.