Most of us know that weightlifting can improve the appearance of our body as well as our overall health. Recent research suggests that it can also provide variety of less talked about benefits. Here’s a brief outline of the benefits of weight training.
Reduce the Symptoms of Depression
According to a 2004 study published in the Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, weightlifting was just as effective as aerobic exercise in reducing the symptoms of depression.
Our bodies naturally lose muscle and bone mass as we age, especially in women. Fortunately, there is a way to reverse this trend. Both our muscles and bones adapt to the stress of weightlifting by becoming stronger.
Lower the Risk of Diabetes
According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, lifting weights each week for 150 minutes (5 half-hour sessions) lowered the risk of diabetes in men by 34%. The risk was lowered by 59% for men who added regular cardiovascular exercise as well.
Improve Hearth Health
The College of Health Sciences at Appalachian State University conducted a study to determine the impact of 45 minutes of moderate strength training on arteries and blood flow. The result was a 20 percent decrease in blood pressure, which roughly equates to the benefit of anti-hypertension drugs.
Control Blood Sugar
In April 2013, the Natural Medicine website published a study demonstrating that lifting weights can regulate blood glucose levels. Researchers showed that weight training spurs the growth of white muscle, which helps lower blood glucose by using the glucose for energy.
Reduce Back Pain
Many office workers know the lower back pain that can be caused by sitting at a desk all day. Weight training can help strengthen the muscles that support your spine. These “core” muscles can lessen the discomfort and stiffness often associated with extended periods of sitting.
In addition to our large muscle groups, our bodies have smaller groups called stabilizer muscles. Those little muscles help determine our ability to maintain our balance. Weight training can improve the stabilizer muscles that help keep us upright.
A regimen of high volume weightlifting several times per week, plus lots of protein each day, will produce long and lean muscles. Ladies, don’t fear the masculine look of a big and bulky body. Proper weight training will help you stay slim.
Sometimes it’s difficult to start, or stick to, a weight training routine. The key is to just show up and get going. Don’t overthink it. Surround yourself with supportive, like-minded people and the results will come.