12 REASONS TO LIFT WEIGHTS
If you haven’t added weight training to your exercise schedule, you need to check out these 12 reasons to lift weights.
It’s not just for the boys. It’s not about grunting and lifting these huge barbells over our heads.
It can be a simple five pound weight. It can be as fun as a kettle bell. Lifting weights can easily be done in the comfort of your home. In about 20 minutes. No big machinery required.
But you NEED to add weight training to your schedule.
Here are 12 Reasons to Lift Weights
HINT: Bulking up is not on this list. Simply because it won’t happen.
- Burn more fat
While aerobics burns fat and muscle, weight training burns almost all fat. So if you’re looking to lose some weight, weight training is where it’s at.
- Burn more calories
You could be burning more calories by reading this. The amount of muscle you have (muscle mass) determines your resting metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn just by living and breathing.) Therefore, if you have more muscle, you’ll have a faster resting metabolic rate meaning you’ll burn more calories just being. We’re not even talking about the calories you burn during the weight training workout.
- Stronger mentally
Lifting weights can be a mental game. Pushing yourself through tough reps with a heavy weight builds your mental strength. You are challenging yourself to do things you didn’t think you could do. And this bleeds into other areas of your life. Lifting gives you confidence; empowers you to take on new tasks.
- Ease stress
Exercising alone is a great way to ease stress. Just try kickboxing to blow off some steam. But lifting weights can help you handle stress better and also have less adverse reactions to stressful situations. Plus, it can improve your memory. Forgetting things can sure be stressful.
- Build stronger bones
Lifting weights strengthens your bones and may help prevent osteoporosis. Strength training can help increase your bone mass and the earlier you start the greater the chance of maintaining the bone mass you already have.
- Build a stronger heart
Studies have shown that those who lift weights have less risk factors associated with heart disease. These include high blood pressure and a large waist circumference. And those who are at risk for heart disease can still strength train as it was approved by the American Heart Association as a healthy form of exercise.
- Sleep better
Lifting some weights will help you sleep better. You’ll fall asleep faster, sleep deeper and not wake up as often. In our busy lives, quality sleep may be hard to come by. But it’s so important to our health. Why not get a little natural sleep enhancer?
- Ease joint pain
Strength training could be the solution to your sore joints. Strengthening the muscles around your joints can help them hold their proper position. I remember I asked the doctor about my knee pain and she told me to strengthen my inner thighs. That those muscles were weak. And low and behold, my knee pain went away after strengthening those muscles.
- Increase flexibility
Some researchers compared static stretches to strength training exercises and found that they are comparable when it comes to improving your flexibility. Only catch is when lifting, you need to perform the full-range of motion which hopefully you’re doing anyways. So surprisingly enough, you’re also improving your flexibility when you’re pumping iron. Just like kickboxing can!
- Drop a size
By lifting weights, you will burn more fat, more calories and more than likely need smaller clothes. As I mentioned earlier, lifting weights will increase your muscle mass. You’re changing fat into muscle. Muscle is more compact than fat. Fat takes up more room than muscle. Therefore, lifting weights and gaining muscle will lead to losing inches and dropping a size. Nice excuse to go shopping for new clothes.
Continuing with number ten, changing fat into muscle changes the shape of your body. You’ll gain curves in all the right places. You’ll look tighter and leaner. You’ll see definition in your arms and shoulders; in your stomach and legs; in your back.
- Increase energy
When you lift weights, you increase your rate of energy expenditure hours after you exercise. Lifting weights on a regular basis may help your overall energy balance. When you’re feeling that mid-afternoon slump, grab a dumbbell instead of a candy bar.
Some wonderful reasons to lift weights. And remember, body weight exercises count as strength training.
If you’re looking to add weight training to your schedule but don’t know where to start, check out these workouts.
I also recommend 21 Day Fix which is included in the Beachbody on Demand streaming service. 21 Day Fix is an awesome introductory fitness program that will have you doing cardio work and strength training. It will show you different lifting exercises and the weights to do for each of them. Highly recommend this program as a good staple in your workout library.
ARE YOU TRACKING YOUR WORKOUTS AND MEALS?
Are you keeping a fitness journal? Research shows that by keeping a food and fitness journal, writing down your workouts and what you eat, you lose more weight and reach your goals quicker. Fitbook is an awesome journal that provides tips, motivation and plenty of space to reflect and document things that inspire you. I use this to help plan my workouts and my meals. I love the extra tips it offers. Oftentimes, I’m left thinking – That’s a good one. I’ll have to try that. There are actually a few journal options to choose from.
Do you lift weights?
As always, please remember that I am not a medical professional, personal trainer or certified instructor… I’m just a hard hitting girl wants to be healthy and strong! Before you begin any fitness or nutrition program, please consult your physician!
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