Strength Training - One of the Single Most Effective Ways to Stay Healthy and Strong

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When someone mentions strength training, weight-lifting or resistance training, people conjure up images of massive or lean muscular figures that we are so used to seeing in the gym, movies, TV and social media. This automatically creates multiple misconceptions which can fill a few pages on their own. For now, let us set most of the myths and misconceptions around lifting aside, and concentrate on the problem which all of that creates.

The Problem with Misconceptions

Some comically believe that lifting for a while will make their muscles huge and they will start to resemble professional bodybuilders, while some women believe that strength training is not for them at all! Then there are those that consider resistance training to be actually dangerous to one’s health and they often cite gym accidents to reinforce their beliefs.

While the misconceptions are many, the main issue with people believing in false myths about weight training is that it keeps them away from one of the most effective form of exercise that quite literally, anyone can be involved in, but at varying intensities. The next question is, what is the truth that eludes people because of these myths?

Weight Training Is Extremely Beneficial for Almost Everyone

The truth is as simple as that; lifting or weight training is not just something that nearly everyone can do, but it’s also something that almost everyone should do.

People cannot grow huge muscles or even any significant muscle mass without being actively involved in the act of bodybuilding for years. Irrespective of the gender, everyone can lift weights according to their strength and capacity, as long as there are no medical conditions prohibiting them from doing so. Even in such cases, the person will only need to exclude certain exercises from their lifting routine, instead of having to forego weightlifting completely.

Also, there is no need to lift extremely heavy weights like professional athletes, models or fitness enthusiasts do, unless you want to. Yes, it is possible to stay fit and enjoy all the benefits of weight training, without having to lift too much or for too long. As to what those benefits are exactly, read on as we discuss some of the most profound impacts which resistance training can have on our lives.

Fat Loss

The more muscular you are, the less fat you have on your body. Musculature here doesn’t mean bulging muscles, although it can’t really hurt. What musculature simply means in respect to general fitness, is the number of solid muscle fibres you have in proportion to the fat content of your body. As the musculature of the individual increases, his/her metabolism begins to work faster, burning through stored and available fat quicker.

In fact, researchers at Harvard also found evidence that weight training is directly associated with abdominal fat loss, which is often the hardest kind of fat to get rid of.

Abdominal fat or visceral fat is held responsible for increasing the risks of heart disease and cancer as well, so in other words, strength training can help us be more resistant to both heart disease and cancer.

Stronger Heart

Barring illnesses and disorders which prohibit the patient from participating in any kind of strenuous exercise, it has been found that weight training makes the heart stronger, without taxing it as much as cardiovascular training does. As it happens, seniors are advised to lift light weights, rather than running on the treadmill too much. There’s more than one reason why resistance training is ideal for seniors, but we will get to that next.

Denser Bones

Older women are often advised to start weight training at an early age since the female skeletal structure is more prone to losing bone mass as a woman ages, leading to osteoporosis. Studies show that the increased bone density from regular weight training can severely limit or at least slow down the bone loss in both males and females as they age.

By lifting weights and being involved in regular resistance training of any kind, our bones grow denser. This is true for everybody and not just seniors either. Even when a healthy adult or teenager exercises with weights under a proper training regimen and under the guidance of a certified trainer, their bones grow thicker, which is desirable because it makes the person physically stronger and healthier.

Happier Mind

All those endorphins released during intense weight training sessions make us happy. This is a real effect and on continuing to exercise with weights on a regular basis, mood improvement will likely become long lasting as well.

Scientific surveys have shown that people who lift are less likely to suffer from depression, while treatment works better on clinically depressed individuals that lift weights or are involved in any other kind of resistance training. It also busts stress and anxiety along the way. In all fairness, though, even cardiovascular exercise can do the same, but with slightly varying results.

Better Looking Body

Try as we might, we just can’t ignore the body we live in. Looks are not superficial when it comes to health and fitness because an athletic, lean, and aesthetic body boosts confidence like nothing else can. In most cases, such figures or physiques also indicate a healthy internal system. You don’t have to look like a bodybuilder or a fitness model because all you need to do is look like a fitter, leaner and more muscular version of yourself.

How to Educate Yourself More About Weight Training

If you really want to learn about weight training and fitness in general, there are no shortage of courses, programs, and online content nowadays. However, when you want to be associated with the fitness industry itself, and maybe even build a career out of your interest in it, we advise going through OriGym's 5 step plan to becoming a Personal Trainer. OriGym also provides specialised trainer courses and career opportunities for fitness professionals on the site itself, so do check those out as well.

Each and every one of the benefits that we just discussed is backed up by scientific evidence, so weight training isn’t just something that people believe in; it is the real deal that has been around for centuries, only to be perfected by modern knowledge and technology to its crescendo today.

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