Weight training should be a part of any gym routine. Its benefits far exceed the gains of just running on a treadmill every day.
- When you are in your 20s, weight training or resistance training is the best way to build muscles, and your physique in general.
- Starting in the 30s, both men and women start losing muscle mass and muscle function as part of the natural phenomenon associated with aging, called sarcopenia. Experts estimate that people who are physically inactive lose upto 5 per cent of their muscle mass every decade, a process that accelerates with aging. The only way to slow this is by putting the muscles under stress on a regular basis through weight training.
- Weight training helps work your heart as much as any cardio training does. It not only builds muscles, but also helps strengthen your heart. You can safely skip cardio if you start intensive weight training.
- Contrary to conventional wisdom, weight training is as beneficial to the elderly as it is to the young. In fact, one should continue resistance training as one gets older. Regular weight lifting is knows to reverse oxidative stress among older people, helping them feel younger. Weight training helps build and retain muscle strength, no matter how old you are.
- Weight training is important for maintaining joint health. There’s a simple rule your body follows – you don’t use it, you lose it. Using your joints for semi strenuous activities like weight training will force the body to invest in its maintenance.
- Weight training also helps maintain bone density. As we grow older, everything gets weaker, and bones are no exception. In women, this leads to osteoporosis, where bones become weaker and brittle. Weight training makes the body build muscular strength. Since the muscles are attached to bones via tendons and ligaments, this in turn makes bones stronger. It reduces bone loss, and helps maintain and build bone density.
- Stronger joints and muscles leads to less injuries. Stronger bones lead to better resistance to fractures, as one grows older.
- Weight training is a good way to lose weight. Expanding muscle mass leads to enhanced metabolism levels, which in turn helps burn fat.
- It has been scientifically proven that weight training helps the body cope with stress. It produces endorphins, which make you feel good and elevate your mood.
- Tired muscles induce better and deeper sleep. People who work out tend to sleep better than people who don’t, especially as you get older.
- Weight training is known to increase your sex drive and libido. The demand on the body to increase strength and muscle mass creates a demand for more testosterone, therefore reducing the pace of its natural decline over time. Testosterone, though produced in much smaller quantities in women, plays an important role in their muscle and bone health as well.
- Stronger muscles lead to a better looking physique, which in turn helps build self confidence.
The author is a personal trainer based in Mumbai
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