Everyone today knows the benefits of resistance training. This shift did not come about until recently though. Experts in the past felt that lifting weights harmed your health and had a cosmetic purpose only.
Evolution has developed our bodies to expect an active lifestyle and need it to stay healthy. Exercise makes disease less likely to occur and improves quality of life. A lack of exercise poses a similar risk as having high blood pressure or cholesterol.
Anyone can lift weights. Although the work needed for improving health seems lower than that for fitness, more effort will bring about even more benefits. Lifting weights allows dramatic changes that eludes other forms of exercise.
The cardiovascular system transports blood throughout the body. This blood delivers oxygen and nutrients while removing waste. Its good condition remains essential to your health.
Your stroke volume is the amount of blood pumped with each beat. The number of times the heart beats per minute is your heart rate. The average resting heart beats 60-80 times each minute and lowers as you get in better shape. The heart rate times the stroke volume equals the cardiac output. Resistance training causes only a small jump in cardiac output compared to exercise for cardio. This is important for health and it lifting seemed to ignore developing it.
Heavy lifting limits blood flow for short periods. The thickness of the left ventricle of the heart also grows to match your fat-free mass throughout the body. These effects mirrored those seen in patients with high blood pressure. This seemed to show the danger in lifting weights.
Later research showed these changes as harmful only if developed through disease. Old standards reversed. All major health groups now prescribe resistance training to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease.
Lifting weights not only provided benefits but had unique value. You also do not need to choose between this and cardio. When combined with exercise focused on getting your heart rate up, you have a complete program.
Yes, exercise is the catalyst. That’s what makes everything happen: your digestion, your elimination, your sex life, your skin, hair, everything about you depends on circulation.
– Jack LaLanne
- Lean mass and strength develops, including connective tissue which protects the joints.
- Blood pressure drops.
- The chance of stroke and other risks related to hypertension decrease.
- Blood lipids that clog arteries lower.
- HDL cholesterol improves along with LDL when assisted through diet.
- Blood sugar tolerance and insulin sensitivity improve.
- Internal temperature regulates more smoothly.
- Better blood flow helps in countless ways and also boosts your sex life.
- The risk of cancer and tumor growth decreases.
- Aging slows and can even reverse course. You can always build size and strength at any age. It helps manage arthritis.
- The risk of injury goes down.
- All-cause mortality decreases. The minuscule risk of death during exercise pales in comparison to the benefits. Death through exertion almost always reveals an underlying condition or unsafe practice.
- Lower back issues improve.
- Mental health improves. You can better defeat stress, depression, and anxiety. Your self-image improves.
- Better sleep occurs.
- Resistance training combined with fewer calories fights obesity. It maintains lean tissue as you lose weight. It ups your metabolism to limit weight gain.
- Prevents and helps manage diabetes.
The list can go on far longer. The benefits are self-evident. Exercise works best to prevent disease though and not to heal it.
The Real Motivation
External motivation may get you started, but internal motivation keeps you going. Perhaps to our surprise, psychology research shows that physical rewards matter little in staying consistent with just about anything worthwhile in life. You need to grow to enjoy working out.
The drive to exercise, if you lack it, is difficult to teach. Have fun, achieve results, but above all you must form a habit. Remember, we have an innate need to exercise so give it some time.
Understand the benefits of resistance training but realize that sticking with it requires a deeper sort of change. Getting off on a good start will motivate you. Start by using a good set of fitness tips.