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There are plenty of reasons to lift weights. You can bulk up with muscle, making yourself fitter, stronger and, to many opinions, more aesthetically pleasing. However, the benefits to your overall health can be a lot more profound than this.
Benefits of regular resistance training- of which weightlifting is one of the most accessible variations- include an improved posture, alongside improved spinal health and bone density, better sleep, keeping your bodyfat down and your metabolic rate up, and lowering inflammation and protecting you against a great many chronic illnesses and diseases.
Though there are plenty of options for training, the best way may be to join your local gym. There are plenty of gyms in Dubai, and plenty of gyms in Abu Dhabi, so this should be easy enough to do. Just check that the nearest gym to you has a good quality, well-stocked weights room.
We’ve collected some of our top reasons for maintaining a regular weightlifting program below, all of which will have some quite drastic ramifications to your overall health.
1. Maintaining strong, healthy bones
Your bones need regular stimulation. As we age, we begin to lose a little bone density each year, opening us up to the pitfalls of brittle bones and, in extreme cases, to osteoporosis. Weightlifting increases bone density. If you start training at your nearest gym when you’re younger, you will have a lot more to lose as you age, meaning that you are buffered against the worse effects. If you start, or continue, as you age, you can halt this bone loss, or even often reverse it, creating denser, healthier bones than ever.
2. Protecting you against disease
The scientific community is fast beginning to recognise the fact that the chance of suffering from classic chronic diseases- such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, many types of cancer, and degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s- falls rapidly for those regularly engaged with any form of physical activity.
Steady state cardio forms of exercise, like jogging, hiking and swimming, as well as resistance training at your nearest gym, like weightlifting, climbing, yoga and calisthenics, are good for your heart, your brain, your weight and your mental health.
3. Regulating insulin levels and lowering inflammation
Many of these benefits for fighting chronic disease come from two main sources.
The first is that weightlifting aids in fighting off inflammation. Chronic inflammation is one of the main contributing factors to diseases such as cancer and is a marker for many other diseases. Regular resistance training at your nearest gym- two to three sessions per week- results in a massive drop in inflammation levels for most people. This is a correlation- causation has yet to be determined- but it is a sure sign that resistance training’s benefits go beyond simple strength and conditioning.
The second main source of resistance to chronic disease comes from strength training’s ability to burn through glucose. Those suffering- or susceptible- to type II diabetes must manage their glucose levels, and everybody will benefit from the improved insulin regulation that comes from this.
4. Improving metabolism and inspiring weight loss
It’s common enough for people looking to lose body fat to begin with cardio. Many people’s perception of training for weight loss revolves around hours of jogging or working at gym cardio machines.
However, weightlifting is more advantageous to fat loss, as the fitness community is beginning to realise. You will be burning more calories if you have more muscle, and if you work those muscles under tension on a regular basis. Muscle is an active tissue that burns more energy at rest compared to fat, and that burns a lot more energy on masse during a weightlifting session.
Though this thermogenic advantage is usually incredibly slight, there is no doubt that strength training at your nearest gym will improve your body’s overall composition, meaning less fat and more lean tissue.
If you don’t know whether you’re at a healthy weight, it’s always a good idea to consult a BMI calculator to see where you stand.