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Are you wondering whether you should start adding weights into your exercise routine? The answer is usually yes! Read on to discover what the benefits of lifting weights are and decide for yourself.

The Major Health Benefits of Lifting Weights (and Busting the Myths)

There are enormous benefits to introducing weights to your lifestyle.

Feeling physically stronger is one of them of course, but it is really just touching the surface of how many ways weight bearing activities can help you to feel great.

And the best part is, you don’t have to lift heavy weights to start feeling these benefits. Even low-level weights as part of your weekly routine will help you to see positive change to your physical and mental wellbeing.

Lifting weights to feel great!

Weightlifting, in all its forms, plays an important role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Some of the many benefits to your physical health are shown below, but first, let’s talk about how it can make you feel stronger on the inside.

Lifting weights can increase your confidence. Every time you can lift a little more, you feel a sense of achievement.

Then there are the visible changes to your body. Even if you are not lifting weights to build big muscles (it is optional! See the myth busting section below), you will likely see some muscle definition and strength exercises are also great for burning calories.

Improved posture is a physical benefit that can also improve your confidence. And muscle-building exercises often result in people experiencing a better sleeping pattern – which, if you have ever suffered from sleep deprivation, you will know that a good night’s sleep can greatly benefit your general mood and outlook on life.

Exercise in general reduces anxiety and depression. Lifting weights can also help to improve your mental alertness, cognitive abilities and memory.

Improving your physical health

The physical health benefits of lifting weights can include;

  • A stronger, healthier heart
  • Increased metabolism
  • Control of blood sugar levels
  • A reduced risk of diabetes
  • Increased bone density
  • The reversal of the effects of Osteoporosis in old age

A regular routine can also improve your balance, reducing the likelihood of falls and lower inflammation.

Benefits can be felt soon after starting, but importantly, many of the benefits are long-lasting, so adding weight activities to your lifestyle now can greatly improve your health in the years ahead.

Overall, lifting weights is a form of training that can drastically enhance your quality of life. Now, lets look at some of those weight-lifting myths.

Weight-lifting myths

“I will just get big and bulky”

To get the big muscles that deters some people from starting to lift weights, takes a lot of time and dedication, working towards strict guidance, diet and muscle-building workout plans, for many hours per week.

Unless that’s what you’re planning, you are most likely to see small, positive changes to muscle definition and potentially some weight loss without turning into ‘the Hulk’.

“Cardio will burn more calories than strength exercise”

This is a half-myth. Yes, cardio burns more calories than weight-training exercises during the time that you are exercising. But, your body burns calories and fat for a longer period of time post-workout after a weights workout.

This is due to the way in which muscle is built. During the weight-lifting process, the fibres of the muscles tear slightly and it is when the body repairs itself, fusing the fibres back together again, that muscle mass is increased.

“If you suddenly stop training, your muscles will turn to fat”

Luckily, it’s scientifically impossible for muscle to turn into fat.

So, what does happen? Muscle grows as you exercise. When you stop exercising those muscles, they inevitably do the opposite. They shrink in size, which leads to the appearance of muscles being less defined. But they will never turn to fat.

“You have to train everyday to see results”

It’s actually recommended not to train everyday and ensure you have rest days.

The ideal is every other day, or 3 times a week. This allows your body to rest and ‘repair’ itself, and it is during this time that the muscle increases.

“Weight training can be bad for your joints”

Lifting weights is actually a great way of strengthening the muscles around the joint to improve stability and mobility. It is often part of the recovery process from injury.

That said, if you have joint pain, arthritis or have suffered an injury, please do consult your doctor before starting any new weight bearing activity. They will be able to advise you on a routine that is best for you.

Lifting weights really can have a positive impact on your life.

And one of the best things about adding weights to your lifestyle, is that it is so easy to start. Got some water bottles laying around? Do some reps! Carrying your shopping in from the car? Reps! You can do it anywhere and anytime.

Take a look at some sample workouts to get you started.


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