Strength Training: The Benefits of Lifting Weights for Any Age
If you want to get into better shape, or even just lose a few extra pounds, strength training may be the answer for you. No matter what your fitness goals are, adding a strength training regimen to your exercises routine is a surefire way to lose weight and pack on muscle.
Even if you are happy with riding a stationary bike or another cardio workout, you can benefit tremendously from even a small amount of weight training. You don’t need to buy much equipment: a set of adjustable dumbbells can get you through a lot of strength training exercises and won’t cost an arm and a leg. Here are some of the reasons why strength training is so good for you.
It Helps Keep the Weight Off
If you’ve managed to lose weight, congratulations: that’s a very hard task for many people. But the problem is that if you don’t add some muscle to your frame, you may have a hard time keeping that weight off.
The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn during a workout. This makes it easier as you progress to not only trade fat for muscles but to do it more easily. And you don’t have to overdo the strength training if you don’t want to “get ripped.” Just a few weight exercises a week can make all the difference.
As you increase your muscle mass — even a little bit — you will become healthier and more fit, allowing you to keep the weight off for good as long as you stick with an exercise regiment.
It Helps Develop Better Mechanics
As you work to increase your muscle mass, you will also have the added benefits of better overall body mechanics.
You will soon begin to notice you have better balance and coordination, making all of your workouts easier. As you strengthen your muscles, it makes your body more stable. You will be less likely to injure yourself and you will get better results from each of your workouts. Your posture will get better as well, which can help alleviate any chronic pains you may experience and prevent new ones from starting.
It Helps Prevent Disease
Along with the benefits of losing weight and getting stronger, strength training can also help aid in the prevention of disease.
Strength training helps increase bone density as well, which can be a boon for postmenopausal women who are worried about osteoporosis. Lifting weights also releases hormones that fight pain, so people with arthritis can benefit from light training. And finally, strength training can help prevent or control diabetes, especially if you pair it with the right diet.
For all of these reasons, you may want to think about adding strength training to your exercise routine. Not only will you see better results, your workouts will become easier, making you want to stick with them.
Cameron Gray writes about health and fitness in his articles that appear around the web. He works as a personal fitness trainer.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!