Benefits of Weight Training

by Le Fitness Loft Fitness Training Weight training is the only type of activity that will change your body composition and increase your metabolism.

Get Active & Train To Stay Healthy

Many factors influence our bodies throughout our lifetime. Some have positive effects and others have negative ones. A simple way everyone can positively influence their bodies is through weight training. At any age and any fitness level, everyone is capable of doing some resistance training. A gym membership is not necessary to do weight training either, exercises can easily be done at home with what you already have or with very little equipment. And best of all, each exercise can be tailored to your personal fitness level.

If you are not active at the moment, here are some great reasons to get started:

Weight Training Increases Your Metabolism Helping You To Burn More Fat & Increase Muscle Mass

Weight training is the only type of activity that will change your body composition and increase your metabolism. Every time you weight train, your body continues to burn calories 24 hours post-workout, therefore increasing your metabolism during this time. As shown by the image below, this is what we call the overcompensation principal, where the fatigue caused by training creates an improvement in fitness over time if, of course, you allow your body the proper rest in between training sessions.

In addition, lifting weights promotes muscle gains, which require a larger caloric expenditure from your body, again increasing your metabolic rate. Consequently, the more muscle mass one has, the less fat mass there is, hence changing someone’s overall body composition.

Source: Oasics, 2016

Weight Training Can Control Or Lower Your Risk For Diseases & Poor Health

Another reason weight training is very important is to reduce the risk of diseases. Diabetes can easily be controlled, reduced and even eliminated, in the case of Type 2 Diabetes, with a regular exercise program. Being active reduces the amount of insulin needed in the body as our muscles need the energy (glucose) during resistance training to push, pull, squat, etc.

High blood pressure and cardiovascular disease are two other diseases that would be less common in our society if we all exercised regularly. By increasing our heart rate over its resting values allows our heart to work through a range of intensities. Also, after increasing it to a certain level, our heart rate will be lowered following a bout of exercise hence decreasing our blood pressure for the following hours.

Regular exercise also improves bone density, something very important as you age. Our bones are shaped the way they are due to the forces we apply to our bodies. If no additional forces other than gravity are exerted to the body, our bones become weaker by losing thickness (density). The human body is intelligent; if there is no need for something (extra muscle, bone, etc.) the body will get rid of it; every part of us is important and has a role to play to maintain homeostasis; stability throughout the body.

This may surprise you but regular weight training can also help fight depression, improve self-image and thus increase self-esteem! This point is very important especially for teenagers who are trying to find their identity. Weight training will make them feel better about themselves and give them a positive body image. Also, for all those busy business people out there who are over worked, exercise is the best way to prevent burnout and is being prescribed by doctors to treat burnout.

Simply lifting a few dumbbells on a regular basis can have positive impact on your stress levels and help alleviate daily pressure and tension. Break up your routine with a few short exercises that will help clear your mind and focus while improving both your physical and mental health.

Weight Training Will Increase Your Energy & Brighten Your Day

Lastly, believe it or not but training actually increases one’s energy! Hard to believe as it takes so much for people to start, but indeed regular exercise boosts your energy and makes you ready to take on those long work hours or keep up with the family schedule.

Weight training regularly only has positive effects on our bodies. It is important, however, to keep a few things in mind. Firstly, you need to allow your body time to rest and recover between sessions. Ideally, resistance training should be performed 2-3 times a week, always taking a day off in between sessions. This day off can still be active such as taking a walk, going swimming or doing your favourite activity. Also, in order for the body to improve, one needs to consider progressive overload; a gradual increase in difficulty of exercise and weights for the body to keep improving. One can always seek advice from a kinesiologist, a professional who has studied in the field who can prescribe the best exercise program for your goals and conditions. They can also make sure you are doing the exercises correctly without causing harm to your existing injuries and weaknesses.

Remember, no matter what your age, gender and fitness level, starting today is possible and can only benefit your life.

References:
Frédéric Balussard, 2014, Schéma du Principe de la Surcompensation, 25/10/2016, < http://reussirsonbpjeps.com/surcompensation/ >

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