What Are the Practical Benefits of Weight Training?
Most people now know that they should be weight training, but they’re often not sure of the exact benefits beyond the basics of building strength and muscle. No matter whether you call it strength, resistance or weight training, performing any sort of movement that promotes muscle contraction counts, so your weights, barbells, professional dumbbells, resistance bands, machines, heavy balls, bags and bodyweight exercises are all important pieces of kit to have in your home gym.
Muscle is an important component of health, so the more you train, the more your risk of developing many common health issues and diseases also decreases. By performing exercise reps or completing strength-based circuits, you’ll be gaining strength and muscular endurance, which is good for other sports and general functionality. So whether strength and power are the driving force behind your desire to start your strength journey or you simply want to build a body based on good movement central to good health and maybe lose a few pounds along the way, you don’t need much to get things pumping.
Let’s take a look at some of the practical benefits of weight training to see what you could be gaining beyond muscle.
Old fitness advice used to say if you want to lose weight, do cardio, and lots of it. But it turns out that weight training helps you build muscle while boosting metabolism, which increases fat burning. A by-product of increased muscle mass is a high basal metabolic rate (BMR), so you start burning more calories even at rest.
Training strength also allows those who believe their health should be entirely influenced by the number on the scale to gain a new perspective as it’s possible for the number on the scale to stay the same or even, in some cases, go up as muscle is more dense than fat. But muscle takes up less space in the body to store, which is why people look leaner as they get in shape.
Weight training has been shown to reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol and circulation when you strengthen the heart and open blood vessels during training.
Heart health, especially in today’s society with many people struggling with obesity and heart disease being around 1 in 20 in Australia, is a serious issue. Abdominal fat is one of the biggest indicators of increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This type of fat is said to release damaging inflammation that damages blood vessels and raises blood pressure which is often an early indicator of later cardiac issues. Reduce your risk and start by training with any beginner exercises that you can do with ease from home.
Better Joints, Better Mobility
Science has allowed us to realise the importance of mobility and stretching. Stretching is far more than a few static holds, and you’re good to go! If executed properly, stretch and mobility routines can help you build strength, flexibility, balance, posture and improve endurance. If you’re not ready to add weight to your mobility routine, try resistance bands for the push you need to elevate your body.
Being consistent with your routine over time will lead to better joints, too, as strength training directly increases bone mineral density; this will ward off joint issues. It’s also why those with joint issues shouldn’t be deterred from attempting low-impact beginner strength routines. Standing bodyweight movements have been shown to be the most effective as gravity works in your favour to put just enough stress on your body to help strengthen muscle and bones.
Lower Injury Risks
A lot of people think weight training isn’t for them because it seems too intense and dangerous. While weight lifting injuries can occur, they’re not as common as you may think. Not only is a high emphasis placed on the form, but strength training is actually shown to lower your risk of injury over time. This occurs because if a muscle is weak, it puts strain on surrounding tendons, so training ensures that muscles can sustain themselves, and the amount of collagen that protects the muscle fibres and guards against tears increases too.
This actually makes weight training a good choice for people of all ages as better joints, muscles and bones are all things that decrease with age, increasing the risk of injury, bone breaks and falls – so it’s never too late to start gaining strength and encourage others to do the same.
Improved Mental Health
In an era when many people struggle with their mental health, exercise can play a crucial role in reducing symptoms and assisting in creating a positive routine. Strength training releases exercise-induced endorphins to improve mood. While training in a familiar environment with repetitive movements, which you learn over time, helps people gain confidence as they overcome obstacles and set new goals. The elevated body image from strength training also contributes to many citing improved self-worth as their new physique is a direct result of their continued efforts.
Start Enjoying the Practical Benefits Of Weight Training Today!
Whether you are returning to the gym after a long break or you are brand new to the world of weight lifting, there’s nothing quite like the feeling after a great workout. Strength training can provide you with many benefits, such as those listed above. To start experiencing some of these benefits for yourself, simply get down to the local gym, start lifting, eat right, and remain consistent and soon, you will start seeing and feeling the difference.