Whenever you take a look at a fitness magazine or website, you will see plenty of well-defined men and women, with a spectacular tan and glowing faces of happiness. While many of those photos are likely a product of Photoshop, it’s real that these people have spent quite a bit of time training in the gym. And perhaps, after all, those expressions of joy are not entirely false.
Research has shown that weight training not only improves your physical condition by giving you a more toned body, but it also optimizes your overall health by helping you be a happier person.
Weight lifting can help you lose fat, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, prevent back pain, and help you fight depression. Continue reading the following article to discover all the benefits of this wonderful activity all in one weight sets.
1. Muscles Fight Fat
Do you want to eat that extra slice of pizza without feeling guilty? Do weights. In a study published in February 2008 on Cell Metabolism, researchers from Boston University showed that type II muscle fibers, those that you stimulate the most when you go to the gym, increase body metabolism.
The researchers developed genetically engineered mice with a gene that regulates muscle growth of type II fibers which can be turned on and off. After eight weeks of a high fat and sugar diet, they activated the gene but did not modify the diet. Without any change in activity level, the mice lost all of their body fat. Therefore, it was concluded that increases in type II muscle fibers can reduce body fat percentages without changing the diet.
2. Reduce Symptoms of Depression
When it comes to the effects of exercise on depression, aerobic activities like running and swimming have been much more studied than anaerobic activities like weight lifting. But a study published in 2004 by The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
It included 40 women and found similar results after eight weeks of physical activity in those who exercised by running and those who did by lifting weights. Furthermore, there were no differences in the percentage of participants in the two groups who managed to remain non-depressive during the following months.
3. Fight Osteoporosis
When you age you lose your muscle and bone mass naturally. This requires special attention and action on the part of women, whose bones are smaller by nature and can become dangerously weak with age. Just as your muscles adapt to the stress of moving weights by getting bigger and stronger, your bones do, too.
4. Improve your sports performance
Regardless of whether you do Basketball, Soccer, Swimming or Athletics, resistance training done in the gym will improve your performance on the slopes. Let’s imagine you want to jump higher, further and get less and less tired while doing it. Exercising your lower limb through compound work such as Squats, Deadlifts, Transplants, etc., will strengthen your legs and allow you to optimize your performance.
5. Improve your mobility
Full body awareness, or being able to recruit the proper muscles in the correct sequence, is the key to moving efficiently and injury-free. Whether you’re straining to lift a box off the floor, or reaching for something you’ve placed on top of a shelf, there is always a pattern of movement in which you coordinate tons of muscles to produce a result. The point is that if this pattern is not correct and you repeat it over and over for years, sooner or later it will end up causing you an injury.
By going to the gym and learning to exercise with the proper technique, you become aware of the muscles that make up your body and can begin to perform actions in your daily life more efficiently and risk-free.
6. Decrease the Risk of Diabetes
The World Health Organization reported that about 350 million people worldwide have diabetes and predicts that by 2030, the disease will be the seventh leading cause of death. You probably know that leading a healthy lifestyle (controlling your weight, following a nutritious diet, exercising regularly and abstaining from the consumption of harmful substances such as tobacco) can help you avoid being part of this statistic. But what you may not know is that weight training, specifically, plays an important role in reducing this risk.
A study carried out by the National Institute of Health of the United States found that those men who performed weight lifting for 150 minutes per week, decreased the risk of diabetes by 34%. Adding to this cardiovascular exercise lowered the percentage by 59%.