This blog is about the many benefits of resistance training, beyond bulking up. Read ahead to find out more!
As we are all probably aware, resistance training is a great way to build skeletal muscle mass and increase overall strength. What you may not know, is that the benefits of training under load go well beyond looks and strength. Here are a few of the other lesser known benefits of lifting weights:
- Improved Metabolism – Strength training for as little as 10 weeks has shown to improve resting metabolic rate (RMR)–or the amount of calories you burn by simply existing–by 7 percent! This increase in RMR typically induces your body to burn more fat. In one study, participants lost an average of 4 lbs of body fat over a ten week period.
- Cancer Reduction – Continuing with the theme of fat loss, resistance training helps to reduce the amount of a specific type of fat called visceral fat. This type of fat lines the vital organs and is responsible for a number of health problems, including many different types of cancer.
- Helps Manage Diabetes – Diabetes is another example of a health problem linked to visceral fat. Reducing it by lifting weights aids in the fight. Additionally, skeletal muscle is one of the main storage areas for glucose in the body. If you have more of it, your body can more effectively manage your blood sugar.
- Promotes Bone Health – Our bones grow stronger by responding to stress. By lifting weights you can make your bones more dense, which helps prevent serious injury.
- Aids Mental Health – Regular strength training has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression as well, or better than medications alone. It has also been demonstrated to improve ratings of self-esteem and independence which are indicators of good mental health.
- Pain Reduction – Resistance training has been shown as an effective way to reduce low back pain, as well as pain associated with conditions like arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
- Reversed Aging – Some of the hallmark signs of aging include a loss of muscle mass–called sarcopenia. Along with this loss comes reduced capacity for performing regular activities of daily living. On top of reversing sarcopenia and its associated impairments, strength training has been shown to reduce the expression of specific genes associated with the aging process as well!
There you have it! If you didn’t have enough reasons to begin to lift heavy things on the regular, I hope this will help give you a nudge. Most if not all of these benefits can be had with as little as two sessions of resistance training per week. If it is something new to you, remember to gradually introduce it into your routine. I am also happy to help with form or discuss options on what movements to perform if you have questions.
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