If you’re not incorporating weight training into your workouts, you should consider working it in them now. You may thank yourself later.
Lifting weights isn’t just about bulking up and building muscle mass. Its other benefits include improved posture, better sleep, gaining bone density, maintaining weight loss, boosting metabolism, lowering inflammation and staving off chronic disease, to name a few things on the laundry list of positives.
Ask the average person to design an effective fitness plan and a lot of them will immediately go to cardio: walking, running, swimming and using the gym’s machines. And while these methods can be effective in burning calories, they may not do enough to build lean muscle capable of improving athletic performance and boosting the metabolism.
That’s why the most effective fitness plans need to include lifting weights and a commitment to strength training. It doesn’t mean you have to pump 50-pound dumbbells or spend your whole trip to the gym at the weight machines, but it does mean there has to be some investment of your time and energy toward training with weights.
Let’s take a look at the main reason to add weight training to your exercise regimen: it can add years to your life.
That’s because muscle mass plays an important part in determining how we age, and that increased muscle capacity can help us reduce our overall risk of death. In fact, as we age, the focus on losing fat or maintaining weight becomes progressively less important as we progress toward prioritizing keeping the muscle mass and strength we have.
We do so much to improve our overall health but we don’t always think about how our exercise regimen affects our long term. For young and middle-aged people, the fitness goal is usually to look and feel better both today and in the near future (perhaps even decades down the road). But the 75-year-old version of you, the one enjoying retirement and spending time with the grandchildren, may be really pleased that the younger edition of you made a commitment to strength training and lifting weights.
Mike Gartz is a personal trainer who owns I Hate My Trainer at 117 E. Reynolds St. Plant City.