If you’re reading this, chances are that you already lift weights. However, lifting weights doesn’t just make you stronger and better looking, there are a whole bunch of other healthful benefits to lifting weights and if you’re one of those cardio junkies who thinks lifting weights is just for those looking to resemble the hulk, well, after this, you’ll change your mind.
Lifting weights fights diabetes
It has been proven, time and time again, that those who lift weights on a regular basis have better insulin sensitivity. What does this mean? It means that your body is better able to utilize carbohydrates (sugar is a carbohydrate). Rather than wreaking havoc in your body, the carbs are used to fuel muscle cells. This results in much more stable sugar levels throughout the day.
Improves hormonal health
If you’ve been lifting heavy for a while, you probably already know this but lifting weights has been known to positively impact your hormones. Weight lifting encourages increased production of the anabolic hormones such as testosterone, insulin and growth hormone. All of these significantly improve your health, fight ageing, improve body composition, boost libido and keep you feeling positive and healthy. There is a reason people inject themselves with these. However, make sure that your weight lifting sessions don’t last more than an hour and a half, because doing so can cause an increase in cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone that causes you to store fat and burn muscle. Always ensure proper recovery.
Improves joint health
Contrary to popular belief, lifting weights has been shown to improve joint health. Various studies have shown that resistance training helps to increase mobility and reduce join pain and stiffness.
So why do people say that it’s bad for your joints? Well, we have poor education to thank for that. The truth is that weight lifting can be damaging to your joints, if, and only if, you are lifting carelessly. Lifting way too much weight and without proper form and/or a proper warm-up will inevitably result in poor joint health. Train smart! Ask someone for help if you need to.
Raises your metabolic rate
Yes, cardio helps to burn fat, however, did you know that while traditional cardio does raise your metabolism, the effect only lasts as long as your workout. Lifting weights on the other hand, has been known to increase your metabolism in the long run. This is because your muscles are much more demanding than fat and the more muscle you have, the more calories your burn.