Benefits of Lifting Weights

on June 7, 2011

Increasingly, both studies and anecdotal evidence point to the fundamental importance of weight lifting as part of your regular exercise routine. Even if you are already doing plenty of aerobic exercise, weight training bears benefits that the other types of exercise can’t touch. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “People with health concerns — including heart disease or arthritis — often benefit the most from an exercise program that includes lifting weights a few times each week.” How much weight you need to lift depends entirely on your personal physical condition, but whether it’s lifting dumbbells at home or hitting the resistance machines at the gym, weight is an essential addition to your normal routine.

Balance and muscles. Weight lifting will help improve all-over strength, which will improve posture and balance. Better balance means less risk of trips and falls in everyday life, which in turn translates into lower risk of impact injury. Muscle tissue also reacts very well to weight lifting, and the more muscle you have, the better your calorie-burning ability. In addition, other essential muscles — such as the heart — reap the benefits of a weight-based workout.

Bones and joints. Lifting weights improves vascular activity in and around your bones, which in turn helps ensure healthy bone density. The newer bone is also less likely to be brittle, thus reducing the risk of fractures or impact injury. This means weight lifting is an absolutely necessary part of normal exercise for people suffering from or at risk for osteoporosis and related bone disorders. The buildup of muscles around the joints also helps support major joints that are frequently overloaded. Taking the pressure off these joints can help prevent osteoarthritis or help relieve the pain of inflamed joints in existing arthritis.

Mental health. Exercise has shown to be beneficial in relieving stress, anxiety and depression. This can also help promote healthier sleep cycles. The overall result is better health and a significantly improved sense of well-being.

Found in: Fitness