Why I Love Weight Training
It’s no secret that exercise is important to me. It’s how I start each morning or unwind after a long day at my desk. It gives me an opportunity to clear my head, blow off steam and get some much-needed me time. And like everything in life, when it comes to my workout, variety is key! That’s why I love to incorporate weights into my regular routine. Besides the obvious physical advantages of weight training, making time to pump some iron can offer some other amazing benefits…
Resistance training is important in any weight-loss program. While cardio will get you fit and help you lose body fat, weight training will help you to increase your metabolic rate by encouraging the growth of lean muscle mass. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue, which burns energy not only during exercise but also at increased levels in the hour or so after exercise. It’s one of the best ways to encourage your body to utilise more fat as fuel. Resistance training will also help to shape and sculpt your body.
HELPS ME PREVENT INJURY
Strength training keeps my core strong, improves the stability of my joints and helps me build stronger connective tissue. This means that high-risk muscle groups, like my lower back, hamstrings, shoulders and quads are more protected and less likely to suffer from injury.
IMPROVES MY SLEEP
There’s no denying it…a big workout can make me sleep like a log, especially weight training, due to the increased demand on my body. A good night’s sleep is a natural by-product of a healthy body, and weight training can be a great way to hep combat common causes of poor sleep, such as depression, pain and anxiety.
INCREASES MY PRODUCTIVITY
The boost of circulation around my body that I get from weight training improves my energy levels and keeps me more alert throughout the day.
KEEPS ME LOOKING YOUNG
Feel like your losing the war on ageing? Forget wrinkle creams, as weight training could be the answer you’ve been looking for! Muscle mass gained from lifting weights counteracts the muscle degeneration we all experience, as we get older. According to the Journal of Applied Physiology, the loss of muscle mass that occurs with ageing is associated with reduced muscle strength, loss of functional capacity and an increased risk of developing chronic metabolic disease. Resistance exercise combined with eating enough protein stimulates its absorption and prevents loss of muscle mass and strength.
UPS MY SELF-ESTEEM
Nothing beats that feel good factor you get from a good workout! Studies have shown that strength training can improve our physical self-image and overall self-esteem. As well as this, the physical benefits of weight work help me to feel more confident and happy about my body.
BOOSTS MY BONE DENSITY
Women in particular can be prone to developing bone density issues such as osteoporosis. The earlier that training with weights begins, the less likely we are to develop these problems. I love doing core exercises like squats or push-ups as they work the areas most susceptible to these bone-wasting conditions. I have a DEXA scan every few years along with my regular full body check up, just to make sure everything is on track.
But remember, resistance training isn’t all about slogging it out doing heavy weights at the gym and training like a body builder! Try to focus on full-body functional training two or three times a week for about 30 to 60 minutes. Functional training involves mainly training core muscle groups, giving you a full body workout, better muscular balance and joint stability, so you feel better, move better and live better.
Weight training has been part of my life from the age of 16 and I’ve loved how it’s kept me strong and fit. Enjoy the journey that exercising and healthy eating will take you on. Learn to take days off, relax, recharge, and enjoy the experience! It’s the only way you’ll be able to maintain a healthy, balanced exercise routine for the rest of your life.