Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Include Weight Training
Weight/resistance training has several benefits to your weight loss goals and overall health. Let’s examine the top 5 reasons why you should include it into your lifestyle:
- Muscle tissue is a very metabolically active, and thus calorically demanding tissue. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn even at rest. Clearly, this is ideal for your weight loss goals. The best way to build muscle is by lifting weights that force resistance on your muscles beyond what they are used to.
- In the literature, there exists a clear inverse association between skeletal muscle mass and both visceral and subcutaneous fat mass (visceral fat is the fat around your organs – which is very harmful to your health, and subcutaneous fat is that outer layer of fat that you’re likely to be aware of in the mirror).
- In terms of practicality, the benefits of strength training, extend beyond just health benefits. These forms of exercise are far superior to endurance exercise in terms of time- efficiency; 30 minutes is more than enough time to get an excellent weight training session in. Conversely, if you were doing a “cardio” workout on an elliptical or treadmill, for instance, you’d probably just be getting warmed up by 30 minutes in! Time is precious, don’t waste it. In addition, unlike slow steady-state cardio, weight training continues to burn calories even after you’re done exercising (1).
- Another benefit of weight lifting is the profound effect it can have on bone mineral The adaptations in strength and density of bones are influenced heavily by the loads placed upon them by their connected muscles. As we age, however, we gradually begin to experience losses of bone mineral density. This is especially apparent in women, who lose over 50% more bone mass and strength in their lifetimes than men, due in large part to the decline in estrogen production with age. In both sexes, loss of bone and muscle begins around the age of 40 and, for women, loss of bone progresses rapidly after menopause. For these reasons, weight-bearing exercise has a crucial role in the preservation of muscle, and thus bone mass (2)
- There is an ever-growing body of research to suggest that various types of exercise improve multiple facets of cognitive function. In fact, research has shown that just two weekly resistance training bouts significantly improve executive function, memory, peak power and reduced wasting of white matter in the brain, compared to balance training. There is little doubt that even modest amounts of strength training can have a significant and positive impact on brain (3).
- Greer BK, Sirithienthad P, Moffatt RJ, Marcello RT, Panton LB. EPOC Comparison Between Isocaloric Bouts of Steady-State Aerobic, Intermittent Aerobic, and Resistance Training. Res Q Exerc Sport. 2015; 86(2): 190–195.
- Best JR, Chiu BK, Liang Hsu C, Nagamatsu LS, Liu-Ambrose T. Long-Term Effects of Resistance Exercise Training on Cognition and Brain Volume in Older Women: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2015; 21(10): 745–756.
- Ferrucci L, Baroni M, Ranchelli A, Lauretani F, Maggio M, Mecocci P, Ruggiero C. Interaction between bone and muscle in older persons with mobility limitations. Curr Pharm Des. 2014; 20(19): 3178-3197.