By Alina Gur • November 21, 2016
It’s no secret that resistance training is an important part of any exercise regimen for health and fitness. The question in most of our minds is, why? Here are a few reasons why sprinkling occasional weight training exercises into your routine will improve your overall health and wellness:
- Lose weight faster: More cardio is not always the answer to slimming down, but lifting weights is. Resistance exercises lead to increased muscle mass and raising your basal metabolic rate (how many calories your body burns at rest). In other words, you naturally burn more calories throughout the day than you did previously. And the more calories you burn both at rest and during exercise, the easier those extra inches fall away!
- Build stronger bones: Resistance exercises not only increase the strength of your muscles, but they even increase the strength of your bones. In kinesiology (the study of human movement), Wolff’s Law explains how the human body adapts to load, or resistance. Bones will remodel themselves to withstand the new loads placed on the body, and will ultimately become stronger.
- Prevent injury and reduce pain: Weak or imbalanced muscles and bones can lead to injury or pain in the body. A well planned weight lifting regimen will work to improve overall balance, coordination, and strength, thereby reducing pain and risk of injury.
- Age gracefully: The aging process takes a toll on both muscle and bone density. Studies have recently shown the benefit of resistance training in diminishing the effects of osteopenia, osteoporosis, and the decline of muscle mass in older adults. The earlier you start lifting weights regularly, the more you can offset these effects. However, similar studies have also proven that it’s never too late to start; even at advanced ages, weight training will still result in similar gains in muscle and bone tissue.
To reap the benefits above, lift weights or use some resistance with exercises at least 20-30 minutes two times per week. Always allow your body at least 24-hours between exercising the same muscle groups again. Remember to start small with your weights. The amount of resistance should feel challenging, but never painful! Try some of these common exercises for starters:
Arms: (10 repetitions, twice)
1 arm row
Legs: (10 repetitions, twice)
Body weight squat
Core: (15-30 seconds, twice)
Front plank on forearms or straight arms
Side plank on forearms or straight arms
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.