It’s pretty common to imagine a few certain things when you think of weight training. Body builders with bulging biceps ruining themselves in the gym, fake tanned competitors strutting on a stage, or massive beasts dragging trucks by themselves, to name but a few.
However, whilst there might be some truth to many of these images, it shouldn’t put anybody off from engaging in a resistance training program. Weight training isn’t the preserve of muscle heads on steroids – there are a multitude of fantastic health benefits that everybody can gain from it.
There are plenty of gyms in Dubai – there will be lots of gyms near you. Find one, get in touch with them, and give resistance training a shot. It’s very likely that you will find yourself happier and healthier in the long run.
Of course, you will be using it in part to work on strength, conditioning and endurance – why not make the most out of these, after all? However, this is a small part of the picture. The wider view opens you up to a whole host of new health benefits to be gained from lifting weights.
Though you may be more used to thinking about the health benefits of exercise in terms of aerobic exercises like running, swimming or cycling, or in terms of mobility and mindfulness training regimes like yoga, resistance training needs to be incorporated into any well-rounded fitness regime. The benefits of each kind overlap, complement one another and, individually, will help you to live longer, in greater comfort.
Weight lifting can be about building bulky muscle mass if you want it to. Any amount of weight lifting or resistance training will lead to a degree of hypertrophy.
However, you don’t need to bulk up to feel the main benefits, and those benefits include far more than the physicality of building and retaining muscle mass.
Benefits of resistance training include improved posture, better sleep, gaining bone density, maintaining weight loss, boosting your metabolism, improving your mood, lowering inflammation and staving off chronic disease. This isn’t even a complete list – these are just some of the bigger benefits.
Below, we’ve gathered five of our favourite benefits of weight lifting so that you can see for yourself what including resistance training can do for you.
The benefits of weight lifting
It gives you strong, healthy bones
It’s common to begin losing bone density from about the age of 30 onwards, which is why incidents of breakage are generally greater in older populations. You need to challenge your bones in order to keep them strong – as with everything else in life, if you don’t use it…
Resistance training provides this challenge. It creates force on the bones, forcing them to adapt and grow denser. You will be far less breakable as you age by virtue of taking part in a solid resistance training regime.
It can stop you from getting sick
Any form of physical activity makes your chances of developing many chronic diseases far less likely. This includes the likes of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, arthritis, high blood pressure and stroke.
Though typical cardiovascular activities count for this, there has been a consensus around their healthful benefits for some time now in the public imagination. Less well-known and appreciated is the fact that weight training also counts towards this.
The stronger you are, the better your body will function, and the better able you will be to fight off disease.
It can improve your metabolic function and aid weight loss
It’s common for people looking to lose weight to jump straight in with cardio, pounding away for hours on end in a bid to ‘burn calories’. This can work, of course.
Weight loss occurs where there is a caloric deficit. This deficit can be built in part on the treadmill. However, resistance training can be a smarter choice.
First of all, you will build muscle. Muscle is very metabolically demanding, meaning that you will use more calories overall, even at rest, for the sake of a bit of lean mass. You can also burn more calories in a shorter amount of time by making use of higher energy forms of weight lifting, such as taking part in circuit training or HIIT sessions.
Note, you may end up gaining weight. This is because muscle is heavy. But, if you do it right, you should be able to allow your weight to come up even as your waist size shrinks and your musculature becomes more visible – you will be shedding fat.
Your body will be able to better regulate insulin
Strength training allows your body to burn through glucose. This is particularly important for anybody dealing with either type 2 diabetes of pre-diabetes. They need to manage their blood sugar levels consistently.
However, it’s good news for anybody. In the long run, it will make you far less likely to suffer either of these conditions. It will also lead to more energy, at a steadier rate, as your body better learns to make use of its energy sources. You won’t get hunger pangs so much, as your insulin sensitivity will be improved.
You will have better energy, improved mood, and a better quality of sleep
Weight training will help you to sleep better. If you struggle to get to sleep at night, try going a few rounds with a heavy deadlift. You should be struggling to stay awake afterwards – you’ll be able to switch off easily!
In addition, weight training helps to lift our energy levels and overall mood, in large part due to the insulin response mentioned above, and in large part due to the hormones and endorphins released. It should also make you feel more confidant, as you challenge yourself, overcome those challenges, and build a stronger version of yourself.