Cardiovascular exercise is good for our health, we all know that, but did you know that weight training may provide some unique and significant benefits?
Weight training provides benefits that typical cardiovascular training may not actually provide.
So I say if you are looking to transform and optimise your health and body weight training is the key.
I discuss this in my blog on Osteoporosis. If you have not already read it, the you can read it here: https://www.nishfit.com/blog/offsetting-osteoporosis
Researchers show that a lack of weight training causes us to lose some bone mineral density (BMD) every year of life over time, which can really add up. Just as our muscles need loading to adapt and grow, our bones need stimulus too, which help bones grow bigger and stronger.
Weight training has a beneficial effect on bone mineral density, as little as three weight training sessions a week can increase the BMD.
Now go and lift some weights and make it consistent!
Improved body composition
Weight training is crucial if your goal is to lose fat or build muscle (most goals fall under one of the two). With as little as three sessions a week, weight training may help increase lean body mass and decrease body fat.
Numerous studies have been published that show a positive association between weight training and improved strength, power and speed.
Strength training is also proven to reduce injury risk during sports.
Increases the amount of calories burnt at rest
Since muscle requires a lot of calories for fuel, adding more muscle mass keeps your metabolism high, helping you to burn more calories. You can eat more food as well as metabolise the food efficiently due to improved insulin sensitivity (more on this later). Not only this, weight training may help you burn calories 24 hours a day (thanks muscles)! Yes, even when you are sleeping, as long as it is done on a consistent basis of course.
Insulin sensitivity is the body’s ability to process carbohydrates in an efficient manner. Poor insulin sensitivity eventually leads to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, other metabolic diseases and even certain cancers.
Just 12 weeks of resistance training, 3 times per week, can drastically improve insulin sensitivity.
Cardiovascular diseases are a major threat to our health.
While it may seem obvious that cardio is the way to go, studies have shown that weight training is at least as effective as cardiovascular training in reducing some major cardiovascular disease risk factors, including improvements in blood pressure and reduced resting blood pressure.
Muscle mass preservation as we age
Muscle mass can decline as we age leading to loss of muscle function, reduced strength and impaired quality of life.
However, this is not to be accepted as a normal ageing process. It can be prevented. And yes, you guessed it, through weight training.
Researchers have proven that strength training:
- Increased muscle mass
- Decreased fat mass
- Increased strength
- Protects against age-related declines of neuromuscular function
In contrast, normal lower intensity activities did not show the same effects, indicating that strength training may be particularly important as we age.
Now that you can see its endless benefits, it’s time to get lifting.