If we did a random street survey, and asked about the benefits of weight training, the vast majority of responses would be that it improves physical condition (something totally true) or that it helps us lose weight. And it is not that these answers are misguided, but weight training has many benefits for those who practice it, and some of these may be a little unknown for a large number of people.
From acting on our cardiovascular system to influencing our psychological condition, weight training has numerous benefits that we should all know about.
13 Benefits of weight training
1.Improves the metabolism
The first effect of weight training is the creation of muscle mass , which together with the loss of body fat will mean an improvement of our metabolism (remember that to maintain muscle we need energy and to maintain fat only to remain inactive ).
In addition, a team of researchers from Boston University, after a study in laboratory mice, concluded that “the increase of type II fibers can reduce body fat without changes in diet and, therefore, could be an effective remedy in the fight against obesity.”
2.Reduce the symptoms of depression
Although there are more studies on the effects of aerobic work on depression than anaerobic work (with weights), a study published in The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 2004 concluded that there were minimal differences between both types of training and their results on the status of people with depression subject to study.
What is clear is that the effects of exercise are positive when we talk about physical activity as a treatment of depression, due, among other things, to the release of hormones that occurs during sports.
3.Help fight osteoporosis
It is proven facts that as we age, s and lose bone mass and muscle mass (an important fact especially in the female population).
According to Vivian Ledesma (owner and director of Alliance Healing Arts in Seattle, Washington), in the same way that weight training causes the increase of muscle mass in response, this same effect can be seen in relation to bone mass.
4.Improves sports performance
Without a doubt, weight training will help us improve our athletic performance. If we take as a reference that strength is the basic physical quality on which speed and endurance are sustained, an improvement in our levels of force will make us, therefore, more resistant and faster. That is why more and more often we can see how soccer teams, for example, incorporate strength training and exercises in their routines in order to increase and improve the athletic performance of their players.
5.Improve the efficiency of our movements
A weak musculature, in turn implies instability in our daily movements, with the consequent risk of injuries that this entails. To avoid this, the stronger our muscles are the more stability they can give us when moving and performing our daily movements. In addition, certain exercises such as the squat, the deadlift or the military press can help us correct erroneous postures and movement patterns
6.Reduces the risk of diabetes
Physical inactivity is one of the main, if not the main, cause of death in the world. Furthermore, being physically inactive entails a series of risks that eventually lead to diseases such as diabetes, which according to the WHO, affects around 350 million people worldwide and they estimate that by the year 2030 it will be the seventh cause of death in the world.
According to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in The Archives of Internal Medicine, “people who lifted weights for 150 minutes a week were 34% less likely to have type II diabetes.”
7.Improve heart health
Researchers from the Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Sciences of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the Appalatian State University , “after 45 minutes of strength training with a moderate intensity, the drop in blood pressure could reach up to 20% (As if taking anti-hypertensive medications). “
In addition, these effects persisted for the next 30 minutes at the end of training and could persist up to 24 hours in people who trained regularly from 35 to 45 minutes several times a week.
Weights help control heart health
8.Improves blood sugar levels
For those who are diagnosed with diabetes or who have risk factors, lifting weights can help them control their blood sugar levels, since, according to a study published on the Nature Medicine website in 2013, This type of training promotes the growth of white muscle (white muscle fibers), which uses glucose as the main source of energy (while red muscle fibers use the oxidation of fats as the main material to produce energy).
9.Prevents back pain
Undoubtedly, one of the main sources of back problems and injuries is office work, in which people spend long hours sitting and in positions that are normally unhealthy for our backs. Therefore, gym work based on exercises such as deadlifts, different variants of paddling and pull-ups, among others, help to strengthen all the muscles of our back and make us more resistant to these long days of work.
In addition, another recommendation would be to perform small breaks and stretching exercises every so often in order to help release and relax the muscles.
10.Improves muscle stability
Although when we do any exercise we tend to think of large muscles as those that are “affected”, in all movement we perform there are stabilizing muscles of posture , whose main mission is to maintain a correct posture during movement with the In order to avoid possible injuries.
A good example would be when we worked an abdominal plate: the main muscle involved would be the abdomen, but equally or more important would be, for example, the lumbar quadratus, the spinal erectors, the multifidians … which would be responsible for maintaining stability during exercise.
Therefore, the more we train, the more we will improve this “auxiliary” musculature.
11.Does not exaggeratedly increase muscle mass in women
A widespread myth is that if a girl trains with weights, she will get big and looks like a boy. This is totally incorrect and, in fact, there are reasons why weight training is recommended for the female population.
For this effect to occur, girls should follow a diet aimed at gaining volume and doing heavy workouts. Training with moderate weights, on the other hand, will allow girls to wear a more stylized figure and more “fine” lines.
12.It will make you stronger mentally
It is a fact that, if we are physically stronger, in most cases we will be mentally stronger, since we will have greater capacity for resistance and “suffering” in the face of challenges that may involve new training. In addition, as we have already mentioned, the lifting of weights has positive effects already demonstrated in the mood of the people.
13.You will see yourself and you will feel better
Related to the previous point. If we have been training in the gym for a while, and we begin to see positive results and an improvement in our physical appearance, we will psychologically gain self-esteem and feel better. In addition, as we overcome the challenges of increasing weights or intensities in our training, we will gain confidence and desire to continue progressing.
Undoubtedly, sport is a powerful tool that we can use to work and improve our physical and mental health.