Need some convincing you should be lifting weights? Below are ten research-proven health benefits of lifting weights. Even if you can only spare an hour two days a week it can make a huge difference in your quality of life. This applies to anyone and everyone, young and old. Once you’re convinced and you’re ready to start lifting be sure to check out my Beginner’s Guide and get started on your path to a better life.
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Lose 40 percent more fat
Want to burn fat? Pure gut protruding, butt bulging fat and not sacrifice an ounce of muscle? Then start in the weight room.
A study done by Penn State University shows lifting weight can help dieters lose fat and maintain or even gain muscle. Scientists put overweight people on a reduced-calorie diet and then divided them into three groups. the first group didn’t exercise, the second group did only aerobic exercise 3 days a week, the third group did both aerobic and strength training 3 days a week.
The results? Each group lost about the same amount of weight (around 21 pounds). Here’s the kicker, The lifters lost six more pounds of pure fat when compared to those who didn’t lift. The other two groups in reality only lost 15 pounds of fat, along with several pounds of muscle.
Research shows time and time again. When dieters don’t lift only 75% of their weight loss is fat the other 25% is muscle. It may look good as numbers on a scale but devastating to your complexion. This isn’t just the case with men it holds true across both genders. Take heed ladies, ever heard of skinny fat?
As we age our bodies start to replace muscle with fat. Even if we maintain a healthy weight past the age of 40, without lifting weights we are likely to replace 3 pounds of muscle for 3 pounds of fat every decade. This is according to research conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Not only will you start to look flabby but you’ll notice it every time you put your pants on. Muscle is dense. 18% more dense than fat. This means a larger waistline. 18% larger to be exact.
Reduce your chance of cancer
Oxidative cell damage has been shown to lead to cancer and other diseases. According to a study conducted by the University of Florida, people who lifted weights three days a week for 6 months had significantly less oxidative cell damage when compared to those who didn’t.
Additionally, lifting weights reduces the amount of time food remains in the intestines. According to results published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, resistance training can move the food you eat up to 56 percent faster through the large intestines and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Keep your diet on track
A University of Pittsburgh study has shown that lifting weights can help keep your mind on track. During the study 169 overweight people were allowed to eat only 1,500 calories per day. they concluded that the participants were more likely to stick to the diet plan if they incorporated a 3-hour per week workout plan.
Build stronger bones
It’s inevitable, as you age your bone density decreases. A decrease in bone density can give you a hunchback appearance as you age. This can also increase the possibility of suffering a debilitating fracture to your hip or vertebrae. not scary enough? Mayo Clinic has shown that 30% of men who suffer a hip fracture will die within the next year.
The good news is a study from the Journal of Applied Physiology shows that 16 weeks of resistance training increases osteocalcin levels 19%. This is a key indicator for bone growth.
Improve Blood Pressure
University of Michigan researchers found people who workout three times a week for 8 weeks see an average drop of 8 points in their diastolic blood pressure. This reduces the chance of a heart attack by 15% and a chance of stroke by 40%.
Put a stop to diabetes
Fat along with a decreased sensitivity to the hormone insulin increases your risk of diabetes. Lifting weights combats both of these problems. According to Austrian scientists, people with type-2 diabetes improved their condition once they started strength training. Weight lifting helps keep blood sugar levels under control. This in turn can reduce the effects of or even prevent the onset of diabetes.
Do you know who are among the most flexible athletes in the world next to gymnasts? Olympic weightlifters. That’s right, strength training can increase flexibility. According to the International Journal of Sports Medicine after 16 weeks of strength training you can improve your sit and reach score by 11%. Let’s get this straight here and now, being “muscle bound” is a myth.
Burn more calories
Want to burn calories while you sit on the couch and watch TV? or how about while you’re sleeping?
After resistance training, your body burns a ton more energy repairing and upgrading your muscles. Even while you’re sitting around doing nothing.
Case in point: a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin shows a simple strength training routine can spike your metabolism a whopping 39 hours post workout. On top of that a greater percent of the calories burned were from fat.
For those savvy to the world of fitness, you might be asking, what about calories burned during exercise? Certainly you’ve heard someone say aerobic exercise burns more calories during exercise than lifting weights. Well, maybe not. Studies conducted at the University of Southern Maine have shown lifting may burn as much as 71% more calories than originally thought. Using advanced techniques to measure energy expenditure they’ve shown you can burn 159 to 231 calories in 8 minutes by performing one circuit of eight exercise. About the same as running a 6-minute mile.
Stay young forever!
It’s not just the quantity of muscle that’s important it’s the quality as well. Not all muscle is created equal. Our bodies are comprised of two main types of muscle fibers. Slow twitch fibers responsible for aerobic endurance and fast twitch fibers responsible for generating strength and power. You can see the application when it comes to athletic performance but what about something as simple as standing up? As we age 50% of our fast-twitch fibers will waste away while slow twitch fibers decrease by less than 25%. This means greater difficulty performing menial tasks such as standing up or getting out of bed. Want to target your fast twitch fibers? Focus on power exercises that emphasize explosiveness.
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