There are plenty of obvious advantages to weight lifting, such as being stronger and looking more muscular, but you might be surprised at a few of the more subtle benefits.
Though no one really tells you about these advantages, you’ll quickly discover them once you start lifting weights yourself. These 11 surprising weight lifting benefits definitely make all the hours at the gym worth it.
1. Boost Your Mood
Everyone always talks about the “runner’s high” of feel-good endorphins that floods through your body during cardio exercise.
Many do not realize this, but weightlifting also has the same physical effect on mood boosting hormones. Whenever you exercise in any way, your body increases levels of endorphin hormones that reduce stress and increase feelings of happiness.
2. You Burn More Calories
One of the most ignored benefits of weightlifting is also one of the best benefits if you want to keep your own weight down. When you lift weights, you build muscles.
Muscles naturally burn more calories than other cells like fat cells. Even when you aren’t actively exercising, your body will be burning more calories after weight lifting helps you to add some muscle. This allows you to maintain a healthy weight while still enjoying treats every now and then.
3. Ease Joint Pain
Many people treat joint aches and pains like they’re a natural part of getting older, but this does not always have to be the case. When your muscles are stronger, they can protect and cushion your joints.
Weight lifting increases the muscles needed to move the body without putting strain on joints. Though weight lifting is particularly beneficial for people with arthritis, it helps to treat even minor aches and pains.
4. You Get Noticeable Effects Quickly
The issue with most cardio exercises is that you can only increase your training by spending more time doing cardio. Lifting is great for busy people because a basic routine doesn’t take more than a half hour.
You’ll start noticing differences in how you look and feel very quickly, and to get more results, all you have to do is increase the weights. This makes weight lifting the most efficient form of exercise.
5. The Effects Are Felt Everywhere
Some people mistakenly believe that there is no point in training certain muscle groups unless they actively use them.
However, you might be surprised to realize that weight training makes your entire body work more efficiently. A surprising number of muscles are actually activated during basic exercises like squats.
6. Prevent Osteoporosis
A rather unique benefit of weightlifting is its effect on bone density. People naturally lose bone density with age which can cause fragile bones that break easily.
High intensity resistance training with weights helps to improve bone density and prevent fractures. You can get these benefits whether you have weight lifted your entire life or are starting out as an older adult.
7. Better Balance
It might seem obvious, but this weight lifting benefit is often ignored. Weight lifting does not just exercise and improve the big muscle groups used for feats of strength.
Each time you are lifting a weight, you are also exercising all of the smaller stabilizer muscles throughout the body. These tiny muscles help you to keep your balance while doing everyday movements.
8. Less Diabetes Risk
Diabetes is one of the biggest health problems that we face. Weight training has been shown to increase sensitivity which means that the body can better metabolize blood glucose without causing issues.
Researchers believe that this happens because muscles use blood glucose for energy, so they help with overall blood sugar management.
9. You Get Involved in an Incredibly Supportive Community
New weight lifters are often surprised to learn just how welcoming the community is. When you go to a gym for the first time, there will often be an experienced lifter who is willing to take you under their wing.
People are happy to share tips, provide advice, and even help to spot you while you lift. If you are new to an area, weight lifting can be a great way to make new friends.
10. You Learn More About Nutrition
As most weight lifting veterans know, it is almost impossible to get into weight lifting without changing how you eat. Even if you do not intend to go on a diet, you quickly realize just how much the food you eat affects your strength.
Many weight lifters start out just changing their protein and carbohydrate levels so they can perform better, but they end up learning about nutrition and eating healthier in the end.
11. You Become More Disciplined
To really succeed at weight lifting, you have to learn to lift regularly and practice regimented routines. As many professional weightlifters say, lifting really big weights is just as much a mental activity as a physical one.
You have to power through the pressure and stay focused on completing tasks. This mental perseverance will transfer over to other areas of your life and help you to be more focused and goal-oriented.
With all the benefits, it truly is surprising as to why more people don’t exercise. Don’t be a statistic, get out there and move!