Here’s why everyone should lift weights

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We see the images of sculpted, finely chiseled bodies on websites or TV.  The effort of taking the time to lift weights achieving the body they clamor for.  We admire their dedication to turning their bodies into works of art, but most of us believe that weight lifting is mainly meant for the young or for athletes competing against one another. 

But that is far from the truth.  The truth is weight lifting is meant for all of us.  The truth is you don’t have to be young or an athlete or even famous on TV to make the time and effort to picking up a piece of equipment that will challenge and change your body into what you only dreamed of. 

Never believe you too awkward or too old or too weak to start a weight lifting program.  You can make a difference in reshaping your body no matter what stage in life you are in.  A study published in The American Journal of Medicine looked at several studies to find out if lifting weight is actually valuable for adults over the age of 50.  They found that, over 18-20 weeks, older adults gained an average of 2.42 pounds of muscle and increased their strength by 25-30%.

So, here are several reasons why weight lifting is for everyone including you:

You’ll have toned, strong muscles

Lifting weights will help define and tone muscles giving you an improved appearance.  In addition, lifting weights regularly makes everyday tasks so much easier – carrying groceries, carrying kids, lifting heavy items from the floor, gardening, or making the bed.  

Your clothes will fit better

When your muscles are toned and strong, suddenly your clothes fit better making you look healthier and in shape.

You’ll burn more calories

Building muscles means creates lean muscle mass which is more metabolically active helping you burn extra calories even at rest.  You essentially become a calorie-burning machine throughout the day.  Your metabolism is raised which is an added bonus in helping you with weight loss.

You’ll handle stress better and helps relieve anxiety

Weight lifting releases the “feel good” hormones called endorphins.  There is also the feeling of accomplishment and pride in yourself reinforcing you to want to return regularly to lift weights achieving that feeling time and time again. 

You’ll build stronger bones

Weight lifting is a terrific weight bearing exercise, necessary to build not just strong muscles but also strong bones.  When your bones are stronger, your risk of osteoporosis is reduced. 

Your risk of injury is reduced

One reason why coaches want their athletes in the weight room is to help reduce the risk of injuries.  You don’t have to be an athlete to gain this benefit.  Lifting weights not only makes muscles and bones strong but also connective tissue – all the ligaments and tendons helping move your body.  When connective tissue is strong, you can do more work with less risk of injury.

Your balance, mobility and stability will be improved

If you fail to engage in keeping your muscles strong, muscle mass is reduced leading to a loss of balance. You will become more unstable affecting your ability to move with ease and increasing the risk of falls. Lifting weights allows your joints to move through a full range of motion keeping you steady on your feet along with enhancing your ability to move in general.

Your risk of heart disease is reduced

As you lift weights, you breathe more deeply causing your heart rate to go up giving you a mini aerobic workout.  Not only does your heart get a workout but your blood pressure tends to go down when you pump iron regularly.

You’ll age more gracefully

Having a toned, strong body gives a person that boost of self-confidence knowing that you not only look better but feel better.  Feeling good about oneself results in enjoying life to its fullest. You’ll be more capable of participating in activities making you happy which makes anyone seem much younger than their years.

Making weight lifting a part of your fitness routine

If weighting lifting is new to you, check with your physician before starting and always start off slowly, lifting light weights.  Consult with a personal trainer or attend a weight lifting class to learn proper form and how heavy of weights to start off with. 

Weight training does not have to be intimidating.  You can lift as light of weights you want or build up to heavier weights achieving your personal fitness goals.  The important thing is to take the initiative to begin lifting discovering how well your body will respond to a healthy method of getting in shape.