3 New Reasons to Lift Weights
We all know that strength training can produce muscle hypertrophy, which not only makes us stronger, but is a big part of what makes us look attractive. So why don't more people strength train? Somehow, the health benefits of strength training are being overlooked, including the fact that it's a quality fat burning form of exercise.
Strength training is the single most important form of exercise you can do for fat loss and your overall health. In 2010, Phillips and Winett performed a research review of health related outcomes from strength training compared to aerobic training. The review found that strength training is as good as or better than aerobic training at reducing risk of cardiac disease.* That's not something you hear every day!
Additionally, strength training can do so much more than improve your heart health and help you lose fat. The Phillips and Winett review also found strength training to improve your health in three ways that are not generally associated with strength training:
- Strength training is an effective treatment component for type II diabetes.
- Strength training is effective at reducing arthritis pain.
- Strength training can prevent osteoporosis (this is of particular importance for women).
There are many other great reasons you should make strength training a part of your exercise regimen, but hopefully, these aforementioned benefits are enough to get strength training back on your workout radar.
If you're not currently incorporating some form of strength training into your exercise program, you need to get started right away. You can start with anything from simple bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups and squats, to more gym-centric exercises with free weights, machines or resistance tubing. What specific strength training exercise you choose is up to you as long as it provides enough to challenge your muscles.
*Phillips, S. M., & Winett, R. A. (2010). Health-related outcomes: Evidence for a public health mandate. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 9(4), 208-213.