(Weight)Lift Yourself Up

When you think of getting healthy, you likely picture eating a lot of salad and going for runs.

But strength training with weights can also be hugely beneficial to your overall health. The key to strength training is resistance. Start with lower weights (1-5 pounds for women, 5 to 8 pounds for men) and increase as you go. Resistance bands and an exercise ball are also great tools. Benefits of strength training include:

  1. Burn more body fat. Lifting weights helps build muscle and increase lean body mass, which boosts how many calories you burn throughout the day. A recent study in the Obesity Journal showed that in obese adults over 60, the combination of weight training and a low-calorie diet resulted in greater fat loss than a low-calorie diet and walking workouts.
  2. Flatten your tummy. A University of Alabama study found that women who lifted weights lost more deep-belly fat than those who only did cardio. Not only does this help a common problem area, but it also lessens risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome and some cancers.
  3. Burn more calories than cardio. Though you may burn more calories in a 1-hour cardio class than you would lifting weights for an hour, lifting weights can lead to calories continuing to burn past your workout. Your metabolic rate can spike for hours after strength training, so your body is still working after you’ve cooled down.
  4. Strengthen your bones. Weights lifting trains your bones too. When your muscles tug on your bones, the bone cells react by creating new bone cells. Over time, this makes your bones denser and stronger.

Not sure where to begin with weight lifting? Get started with VeryWellFit’s strength training guide for beginners, Self’s top 10 tips, or a conversation with a personal trainer.

Content by Lockton Dunning Benefits with info from https://www.shape.com/fitness/tips/benefits-lifting-weights-strength-training