Weight training, also known as strength or resistance training, is an exercise designed to work a specific muscle group by using an external force, like free-weights or weight machines.
People start weight training for many reasons, including losing weight, toning up, or building strength. But what about all the upgrades that come with it? Improvements like repaired flexibility and mobility, extended lifespan, and enhanced quality of sleep are just a few.
As some of our staff at Nutex Health has experienced first-hand, when you strength train, your overall health and lifestyle get a tune-up. Below, we’re discussing the fascinating advantages of strength training that you may be overlooking.
Here are five lesser-known benefits of weight training:
1. It helps you prevent injuries.
Squats, lunges, and other multi-joint movements open up the hip flexors, which helps avoid back problems and injuries. These movements also help counteract the damage done to your body from hours of bad posture, working at a computer, and time spent behind the steering wheel.
In 2013, a study was conducted in Copenhagen that examined 26,610 people who were participating in strength training, stretching exercises, and general physical activity. The study found that general exercise lowered the risk of injury by 37 percent while stretching reduced injuries by four percent. Strength training came out as the clear winner, with a 68 percent lower injury risk!
2. It reduces your risk of cancer.
Exercising can help lower the risk of multiple cancers, including breast cancer, colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, and uterine cancer. A study done by the American College of Sports Medicine found that participants who lifted weights had a significantly lower risk of both kidney and colon cancer than those who didn’t weight lift. Training with weights is also proven to reduce arthritis pain, lower blood pressure, prevent diseases, and deter weight-related health issues.
3. It can make you look younger.
Weight training tones muscles and that includes the ones that lay just beneath the skin. By toning those muscles, it can tighten your skin and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, when your heart rate elevates, your blood flow increases, and the oxygen and nutrients in your blood speed up to nourish and replenish your skin cells. Blood flow can also carry away waste—like free radicals—from working cells. In conclusion, when you lift weights, you’re not only toning your facial muscles but also flushing toxins out of your bloodstream. That sounds like a win-win to us!
4. It is a powerful way to manage diabetes.
Resistance training is one of the most helpful ways to improve insulin sensitivity for people with diabetes. Muscles store glucose, so as you build muscle mass and become stronger, your muscles’ ability to store glucose increases. At the same time, the amount of insulin your body requires decreases as your fat-to-muscle ratio reduces. Because of this, people with diabetes have seen amazing results with weight training. Some diabetics have experienced so much improvement they were able to reduce the amount of medication their body needed significantly.
5. It can make you a happier person.
Working out helps elevate your mood in various ways. For example, it improves sleep and allows you to think more clearly, boosts your self-confidence, gives you a healthy outlet to expel nervous energy, and releases feel-good chemicals in your brain called dopamine and norepinephrine. By combining these factors, among others, studies show that weight lifting helps people overcome depression.
A study conducted by Harvard Medical school found that weight lifting helped alleviate the symptoms of clinical depression. Digging deeper into this theory, Duke University conducted their own study. The university found that the participants with depression who weight trained four times a week for 40 minutes for four months straight, overcame their depression without medication. Additionally, the researchers figured out that for every 50 minutes of exercise weekly, the rate of depression was cut by 50 percent. Impressive results for minimal work!
The More You Know
With the COVID-19 outbreak, some gyms remain temporarily closed, but that doesn’t have to stand in your way. Click here to read about all the household items you can use in place of weights for an effective at-home workout.
Before you start weight training, keep in mind the following:
- Always pay attention to your form. Good form is a critical factor in preventing injury and maximizing results.
- If you can lift for hours on end every day of the week, you are most likely not lifting enough weight, therefore getting an ineffective workout.
- Once you feel your performance reclining, it’s time to wrap it up. Pushing yourself through fatigue can lead to muscle strains and injuries.
- The more intense your workout, the longer your muscles need to recover. Make sure you’re getting plenty of rest and giving your body about 48 hours in between heavy lifting.
To review everything you should know before you start resistance training, click here.
If you get injured while working out or otherwise, visit one of our Nutex Health facilities for quick and comprehensive care. Each one of our ERs are open 24/7, 365 days a year, and are equipped to treat any type of medical emergency.
As a service to our readers, Nutex Health states no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on any of our concierge-level medical facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve.