Many people assume that lifting weights are just for building muscles. That may be true, but if you are lifting weights just to build your muscles, you will eventually lose your motivation if you will not be able to develop the kind of muscles that you want even after spending so much effort and time to the endeavor.
Other Equally Important Reasons to Lift Weights
Yes, resistance training such as lifting weights is good for sculpting your body. But that is not the only benefit you can enjoy. There are other equally important benefits that you can get if you will lift weights more often in a gym. Here are some of them.
- It strengthens your bones
Lifting weights, if done properly, increases the strength of your bones. You suffer loss of bone mass as you age. This is something that is natural but can be prevented. Your bones become thinner and weaker, especially if you are a woman who has reached menopausal stage.
By lifting weights, your bones are put under stress, and when they are stressed, they are forced to make new cells, thus preventing the loss of bone mass. As you lift weights more often, your bones will get stronger and maintain their optimum bone density.
- It enhances your mental functions
Weight lifting, as proven by medical science, can improve your mental functions, especially your memory. This is proven by a research team at the University of British Columbia.
Women who are aged 60 and up, who participated in strength training for twice a week for six months experienced improvement in their memories, compared to other women of the same age bracket who only did cardio exercises for the same frequency and length of time.
Another study conducted by a research team from Georgia Institute of Technology showed that those who exercised using a leg extension machine for 20 minutes in two days did better on memory tasks (about 10% more) than those who did no exercise whatsoever.
- It keeps fat from developing in your body
People who performed regular strength training such as lifting weights tend to lose weight and keep them off, as compared to those who didn’t. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
In addition, women who engaged in resistance training tend to show lower levels of intra-abdominal fat, which is difficult to get rid-off and is also dangerous to your health.
- It enhances your metabolism
Lifting weights are not only beneficial in the short-term. It does not burn calories while doing your routines, but it does its work even long after your last bicep curl.
There is a study conducted in Southern Illinois University which showed that people who performed 15-minute strength training torched 100 extra calories per day, three days after their workouts. In addition, muscle building helps in burning more calories. For instance, building a pound of muscle will help you burn 7 to 10 calories.
How Often Should You Lift Weights
Research studies have shown that for best results, you must not lift weights every day. Your actual physical condition dictates the number of workouts you can safely perform each week. Even a strong muscle man does not lift weights every day. In general, an average person should lift weights no more than two to three times per week.
Take note: if you exercise more than what your body can take, instead of building your muscles, atrophy will set in. Your muscles will become smaller and weaker. So, keep your weightlifting exercises to your optimum level, and don’t try to overwork yourself, thinking that more exercise will build muscles faster.
Best Weight Lifting Exercises
Here are some simple weight lifting exercises that you can try. They will work on multiple muscles negating the need for you to spend long hours in the gym. There are other weight lifting routines that you can try later on.
- Squat Lifts
Get a long bar with weight on both ends. Stand with your feet shoulder width-apart and lift the bar and put it on your shoulders behind your head. Once you get your balance, slowly squat down to the ground while keeping our body straight. Rise again slowly, and then back down again. Repeat several times until you feel your thighs, hamstrings and buns start to burn.
- Leg Lifts
Doing leg lifts at a Fitness 19 gym or a Life Time Fitness gym will keep your legs working hard and build muscles too. Sit on machine’s chair with a plate in front of you. This plate is connected to some weights at the back of the machine. Start lifting those weights by using your legs. This will be easier since your legs are usually much stronger than your arms. As you progress, you can add more weights at the back.