Whether you’re age 8 or 88, exercising your muscles the correct way can provide a plethora of healthy benefits.
I was surprised to learn how few adults actually perform strength training, though. A report I uncovered from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Trends in Strength Training-United States, 1998-2004,” documented weightlifting frequency among U.S. citizens.
Strength training participation increased slightly from 1998 to 2004, but only 22 percent of men and 18 percent of women said they trained two or more times per week. Those percentages are a good deal lower than the national 2010 objective of 30 percent.
Of course, the type of strength training people do will depend on their age, health and objectives. The very young and old should work with light weights and do higher repetitions.
And, of course, always check with your doctor before beginning a new fitness program.
Speaking in general terms, though, here are my top 20 benefits to lifting weights:
1. Energizes you.
2. Has a positive affect on almost all of your 650-plus muscles.
3. Strengthens your bones reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis. By doing regular strength training, research has proven that you can both increase your bone density and work to prevent osteoporosis.
4. Helps you maintain your weight by increasing your metabolic rate, which will help your body burn more calories throughout the day.
5. Increases your lean muscle mass and overall strength.
6. Helps your stamina, allowing you to workout longer and have more energy.
7. Helps to prevent injuries. One of the top methods to prevent and rehab injuries is to strengthen the muscles around them. A large portion of sport-related, as well as life-related injuries, can be prevented by properly strengthening both your muscles and joints.
8. Decreases your risk of developing adult diseases or health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and even some forms of cancer (government studies have shown regular physical activity can lessen cancer risks).
9. Improves the performance of the immune system.
10. Will NOT develop big muscles on women… just toned muscles.
11. Makes you less apt to get lower-back injuries.
12. Improves your posture.
13. Lowers your resting heart rate.
14. Improves your balance and coordination.
15. Elevates your mood by releasing chemicals like serotonin.
16. Is a great supplement for people who are already active, but want to take their fitness to a higher level.
17. Can help someone have increased confidence and higher self-esteem.
18. Can help a person look younger and age gracefully.
19. Can be done lots of different ways, such as lifting free weights, kettle bells or functional trainers. Shop at a specialty fitness store to get more ideas on which equipment is right for you.
20. For as little as 30 minutes three times a week can help you live a richer, fuller, STRONGER life. What are you waiting for, start a weight training program today!