The first thing you see when you open up a fitness magazine is usually extremely toned men and women. It’s a common goal for most, especially those who spend quite a bit of time at the gym.
Research shows that not only can weightlifting improve your body composition and give you a toned appearance, it can also improve your overall health and make you a happier person. Weightlifting can help you burn fat, reduce your risk of diabetes, prevent back pain and even help you fight depression. Read on to find out all the benefits of weightlifting. So let’s get into the benefits of weight lifting that no one tells you about.
1. Boosts Your Mood
Everyone always talks about the “runner’s high” of feel-good endorphins that floods through your body during cardio exercise.
Many people don’t not realize this, but weightlifting and regular strength training also has the same physical effect on mood boosting hormones. Whenever you exercise in any way, your body increases levels of endorphin hormones that reduce stress and increase feelings of happiness.
Whenever I have weeks where I strength train less than normal, I notice this in my moods and mental outlook in a negative way. As someone who is diagnosed bipolar, strength training for me is as much about mental health as it is about physical fitness and looking good.
2. Reduce Joint Pain
Many people treat joint pain as a natural part of getting older. However, there are many ways to help reduce joint pain altogether. In fact, weight lifting does just that. When your muscles are stronger, they can protect and cushion your joints.
Weight lifting increases the strength and/or size of the muscles needed to move the body without putting strain on joints. Though weight lifting is particularly beneficial for people with arthritis, it helps to treat even minor aches and pains.
I find that I am sore regardless of whether or not I am consistent with my training schedule, but the soreness from inactivity is very different from the muscle soreness I get from strength training. The soreness I get from inactivity is more of a “old man” kind of soreness, not the feel good type that you get from working hard.
3. Prevent Osteoporosis
One of the more unique benefits of weight lifting is the effect it has on bone density. As you age, you will naturally lose muscle and bone mass. However, this is especially concerning for women who’s bones are smaller to begin with. This natural loss can cause their bones to become dangerously weakened by age.
However, high intensity resistance training with weights helps to improve bone density and prevent fractures. You can get these benefits whether you have weight lifted your entire life or are starting out as an older adult.
4. Lowers Your Risk of Diabetes
You probably already know that living a healthy lifestyle will help lower your risk of diabetes. However, you might not know that weight lifting plays a significant role in reducing your risk as well.
Weight training has been shown to increase sensitivity which means that the body can better metabolize blood glucose without causing issues. Researchers believe that this happens because muscles use blood glucose for energy, so they help with overall blood sugar management. Additionally, weight lifting helps improve your heart health.
I have actually had clients who were pre-diabetic and on low doses of prescription drugs to combat high blood sugar be able to significantly lower their blood sugar levels and in one case get completely off those medications through nothing more than regular strength training.
They didn’t even change their diet, that’s how powerful it can be (please note that I am NOT telling you to stop your medication if you are diabetic, I am not a doctor, I am just relaying anecdotal evidence I have seen with some clients)
The Weight Lifting Benefits Takeaway
I have only mentioned a few of the benefits of weight lifting here, but the list goes on and on. All in all, weight lifting is an amazing exercise that can help prevent disease, reduce pain, and boost your mood. So get out there and give it a try, you won’t regret it!
Interested to find out how I can help YOU achieve your fitness and fat loss goals while still living your life? Check out my 28 Day Fat Shredder Program which has helped hundreds of busy parents just like you shed pounds and pounds of ugly, oozing bodyfat while still enjoying the foods and beverage that they love…
Author: Chris Friesen
Chris Friesen is a gym owner, personal trainer, online fitness coach and former “fat dad” living on 60 beautiful acres of countryside in rural Canada.
He specializes in helping busy parents shed body fat quickly, WITHOUT becoming gym rats OR giving up the foods they love to eat.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids, sitting in his hot tub out in the snow with a glass of bourbon, and yelling at his (many) misbehaving barn cats.