Whilst cardio based exercise is still needed and can help with the health of your heart and blood vessels, weight training is just as if not more important for many reasons including muscle, strength and bone health. I try to get my clients to incorporate weight training into their routine 3-5 per week time per week.
1. It improves body composition
Whether you want to lose body fat just to look better or you are consciously aiming to improve your health, resistance training will increase this faster than any other type of exercise. When people begin a weight lifting program, their bodies adapt to it by increasing muscle. This extra muscle directly increases a person’s metabolic rate and along with that how much body fat your body will burn daily, so lifting weights will actually support weight loss and help you drop inches too.
2. It makes you strong
My favourite benefit of strength training is actually how strong and confident it can make somebody. I have seen many people with lower back pain, knee issues and all other sorts of injuries caused by weakness in the body. After a period of time training these clients and getting them to strengthen all muscles in the body, they suddenly stand upright without pain and can go back to running now safe in the knowledge that they are strong enough to do so. Not only strong in body but strong in mind too. The way I see people’s confidence skyrocket when they actually learn what their body is capable of lifting is amazing! Day to day chores or playing with the kids which previously seemed unachievable will become much easier and less of a daily struggle.
3. It keeps you living longer
Possibly the least sexy point, left until last, but no argument about it being the most important! Lifting weights increases the chances of staying alive longer than somebody who doesn’t. Once you reach your 50’s and beyond, strength training and preserving muscle should be high priority if your wanting to carry on performing daily activities and to maintain an independent lifestyle. Lifting weights helps illnesses such as osteoporosis and brittle bone disease, not only this but it has even been shown in one study that the more muscle mass you carry directly correlates to how long you will live for!