In case you haven’t noticed, I love lifting.
Long time readers might remember when that wasn’t the case, when I was all about running and cardio and maybe a few group fitness classes. It’s not just that I fell in love with iron through. Strength training has benefits beyond showing off great guns in a tank top 😉
When we are trying to get fit and lose some weight, the last thing many of us think about doing is hitting the weights at the gym. I know it was for me for years! Most of the time people associate weight training solely to those who want to become bodybuilders or CrossFit champions, but weight training is actually an important part of your workout routine no matter what your goals are.
It lowers the risk of breast cancer
Believe it or not training your muscles can actually lower the risk of women getting breast cancer. The reason for this is that when we train the muscles, it lowers the levels of estrogen in the body. Spikes in estrogen are linked to the formation of breast cancer. Even if you have already been diagnosed with the disease in the past, it can prevent the disease from spreading and from coming back again.
Reduce risk of injury
When you finally give into that New Year’s resolution and drag yourself to the gym you will inevitably end up hurting yourself if you don’t work out in the correct way. Many of us think that we can jump right in to five days of exercise each week from nothing, but this can really damage our bodies. However weight training can go a long way to helping you strengthen your body and allow you to withstand higher strain on your body.
Makes you confident
If you want to Read more on different types of weight training and what they can do for your body and mind, then make sure you do some research. One of the great mental health benefits of weight training is the sense of self confidence you gain from it. Not only do you look more fit and therefore feel happier with your appearance, but you will also be more confident because you know you can face tough tasks and defend yourself if you ever need to.
I’m going to share something I have rarely shared before: back in my super skinny college days I literally wasn’t always strong enough to open a bottle of soda myself. I would tell my friends that I preferred the taste of diet Coke from a can so they would pick up cans from the store for me but really it was so I could open it. I gotta tell ya, I feel a lot more confident being able to open jars and cans and whatever on my own. Plus, it’s really nice to be able to help less able folks with their kitty litter and bottled water at the grocery store.
Self confidence isn’t the only benefit you will get from strength training in the mind, you will also see some amazing improvement on mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. By training your body a couple of times a week you will cause positive hormones to be released from your body and this will help you to feel happier and less stressed. I’ve shared on here multiple times about my history with depression and that Depression Lies. I truly believe that my exercise routine is one of the things that helps keep my mental health in balance.
It can reverse the clock
As we grow older our cells become less pliable and over time they also lose their function. When we take the time to train our muscles every week can slow this process of aging down and allow us to look and feel younger for much much longer. Strength training can increase bone density and decrease loss of bone mass. Avoid osteoporosis? Count me in!
Burn more fat
Muscle needs energy to move, and it uses fat as fuel to complete movements we do every single day. The more muscle we have on our bodies, the more fat we are able to burn. You may think that you struggle to lose weight if you are building it back up in muscle, however this is what will help you get that toned look and keep you fit. Also muscle tissue is denser than adipose (fat) tissue so the same weight can be a much different pants size!
See, I’m not just spending my time in the weight room because I love it there. There really are lots of benefits of strength training!
Are you a convert to strength training? If not, what’s holding you back? How can I help?
This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links. All opinions are, as always, my own. While I am an ACE Certified Health Coach I am not a medical professional and the information provided in this post is not to be considered medical advice.