People weight train for a variety of reasons. Bodybuilders strive for definition and bulk for the next competition, athletes cross train with weights to increase performance and those dealing with an injury make use of them in physical therapy. Older adults can reap many benefits, including increased strength, better flexibility and healthier bones. Whatever your reason, it’s important to incorporate weight training into a regular exercise routine. Here are five reasons weight training can help anyone.
5. Work Alone Or With A Partner
Training with weights is one of many activities that can be done alone or with a partner. For individuals who are more efficient working out alone, then weight training is the perfect gig. You pick the time and place and work at your own pace. On the other hand, some people prefer having an exercise partner because it keeps them motivated and accountable. Competition is a good thing if it keeps you coming back for more.
4. It’s Convenient
If time doesn’t allow for a trip to the local fitness facility, then purchase weights for your home. Weights are inexpensive and are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. They’re easily stored in a closet, under your bed, or in the basement or garage when not in use. Having them on hand at home, ready when you are is a great solution when you’re pressed for time. If you’re a frequent traveler, most chain hotels offer a fitness center or have a working relationship with a local gym which offers hotel guests access.
3. A Healthier Body Inside and Out
Incorporating weight lifting into an exercise program has huge benefits, on the inside and out. Studies have shown that weight training significantly decreases your chances for osteoporosis. It increases bone density, replaces muscle loss—which happens as we age—helps us maintain good flexibility and joint health and reduces stress. What everyone else sees when they look at you are toned muscles, an increase in muscle mass for those striving for big guns, and a huge boost of confidence.
2. Increased Strength and Muscle Tone
Weight training is a type of resistance exercise, which means your muscles are being forced to contract and become stressed. Muscles strengthen and grow when put under stress. Here’s how it works: Muscle tissue is attached to and surrounds a bone. A muscle is comprised of bundles of fibers that are encased in connective tissue. As a muscle contracts the individual fibers stretch with each contraction. Over a relatively short amount of time and with proper rest and recovery, the fibers become thicker. Thicker fibers make muscle tissue denser, stronger and more toned.
1. Increased Metabolism
The term metabolism is derived from the Greek language and relates to the various processes within the body that convert food into energy. Metabolism is a complex function but simply put, it allows the body to use food and other nutrients to maintain operations, repair damage, and rid the body of toxins. Your metabolism also aids in digestion and absorption of nutrients and is affected by physical activity as well as nutrition and hydration. Weight training stimulates the metabolic rate because a denser muscle (thicker fibers) uses more energy to work. As a result, the body burns more calories.
The bottom line: Denser muscle creates a faster metabolism and a faster metabolism equals a trimmer, healthier you.