In addition to toning and sculpting your body for aesthetics, lifting weights has significant mental and physical benefits as well.
A few added benefits of lifting weights
1. Aids in burning fat
Boston University researchers recently conducted a genetics experiment on mice that demonstrated that whole-body metabolism can be improved when you build muscle fibers from weight-lifting. Mice that were genetically engineered with type II muscle fibers (the same kind of muscle you build from lifting weights) lost total body fat without any change in activity level. The researchers concluded that an increase in type II muscle fibers can reduce body fat without changes to diet.
2. Staves off depression
The benefits of aerobic exercise in combatting depression has been well documented, but little research has been done on activities like weight-lifting. However, in 2004, Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry published a study that tracked 40 women's symptoms of depression. They found similar positive results in those who did aerobic exercise of running, and those who lifted weights for eight weeks.
3. Lowers diabetes risks
The National Institutes of Health funded and published a study in "The Archives of Internal Medicine" that discovered men who lifted weights for 150 minutes each week, about five 30-minute sessions, had a 34-percent lower risk of diabetes. Adding regular cardiovascular exercise slashed the risk by 59 percent
4. Strengthens your back
For those of us who spend most of our working hours sitting at a desk or commuting long periods of time in a car, the back strengthening benefits of lifting weights can alleviate back pain associated with weak para-spinal muscles. Weightlifting may help strengthen the muscles of your core, the muscles that support your spine. This helps to lessen the discomfort and undo some of the damage caused by sitting all day.
If you currently lift weights or have thought of lifting weights, consider the additional benefits that weightlifting may bring your body, to increase mental and physical wellbeing.
About the author
Jess Ewart is an entrepreneur, consultant, yoga instructor and Ayurveda practitioner
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