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This Month In Body
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  • Why You Should Lift Heavy Things
    Strength training, also known as resistance training, is an important part of a balanced workout routine. Why is strength training such an important part of fitness? Read on to find out. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Why You Should Lift Heavy Things

Still on the fence about lifting weights? Here are six powerful benefits of strength training.

You may exercise every day, but if all you do is cardio, you’re missing out on a valuable type of exercise. Strength training, also known as resistance training, is an important part of a balanced workout routine. By definition, strength training involves exercises that make your muscles work against some kind of resistance with the goal of building strength. Resistance can come in the form of free weights such as barbells and dumbbells; weight machines; elastic bands or resistance tubing; or your own body weight.
Why is strength training such an important part of fitness? Read on to find out.

Build Muscle

The phrase “use it or lose it” applies to muscles. Sitting around all day leads to a loss of muscle mass. But it’s not just a lack of exercise that’s the problem. Beginning around the age of 30, normal aging results in a three to five percent loss of your muscle mass each year. Why is this a problem? Because less muscle means more weight gain, a greater risk of injury, and more difficulty doing everyday activities.

Strengthen Bones

It’s not just muscle loss you need to think about, but bone density loss as well. Until the age of 25, your body is busy building new bone tissue. After age 25 until around the age of 50, bone formation continues, but bones are also beginning to break down. During this time, your bone mass stays about the same. Once you reach 50, however, things change. Suddenly, the rate of bone loss surpasses new bone growth, putting you at risk for osteopenia, osteoporosis, and fractures.

One of the best ways to build new bone tissue and strengthen existing bones is through strength training. This is due to the stress placed on your bones while moving against some form of resistance. This stress triggers your bone tissue to build new cells and keeps your bones healthier for longer.

Burn Calories

Many people turn to cardio to lose weight, but strength training can also be an effective way to burn calories. The amount of calories you burn depends on the length of your rest intervals, the amount of weight lifted, which muscles you use, and the type of weightlifting routine you do. You can expect to burn anywhere from 200 to 400 calories an hour.

An added benefit of strength training is an increased boost in metabolism, which helps burn calories long after your workout is over. Following a high-intensity weightlifting session, your body uses extra oxygen to recover. This increased energy use results in an extra calorie burn that can last 24 hours.

Don’t forget about the benefit of building muscle. The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate, which is the rate your body burns calories when you’re not exercising.

Provide a Boost

Feel better about yourself with strength training. Exercise in general has this effect, but building and toning muscle through strength training may boost your self confidence even more. Get the defined arms, legs, or abs you’ve always wanted and feel more confident when swim season arrives.

Like other forms of exercise, strength training increases your energy and improves your mood by triggering the release of endorphins in the brain.
The strength you gain from resistance training provides valuable benefits of improved coordination, balance, and posture. You’re less likely to fall or suffer an injury when strength training is a regular part of your workout routine.

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