1. You’ll be stronger at daily activities. The physical act of lifting weights helps your body to increase its muscle mass, which makes lifting anything easier. So carrying those groceries in? Picking your kids up? Cleaning the house? Walking upstairs? All easier when you lift weights! In addition, regularly lifting weights helps to improve your flexibility, balance and coordination. In fact, strength training has been shown to reduce the risk of falling by 40%, so this type of exercise is good for people of all ages.
2. You’ll burn more calories doing nothing. You probably already know that the physical act of lifting weights burns calories (especially if you do circuit training which gives you some cardio benefits, too!), but did you know that strength training can help you to burn more calories even when you’re working out? It all goes back to building muscle. It takes more energy (calories) for your body to use and maintain muscle cells than it does fat cells. So by simply lifting weights to add more muscle mass, you’re boosting your metabolism and turning your body into a more efficient calorie-burning machine.
3. You’ll build stronger bones. We may not think of them as such, but bones actually comprise living tissue that get stronger with exercise. With regular strength training and other forms of weight-bearing exercise like walking and running, you actually improve the health and strength of your bones by improving or maintaining (depending on your age) your bone density. Lifting weights has even been shown to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and related fractures.
4. You’ll reduce your risk of diabetes. Lifting weights helps improve the way the body processes sugar. Researchers have also found that weight lifting helps to improve insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control. Additionally, as stated above, resistance training improves heart health by controlling cholesterol and blood pressure, both of which play a role in diabetes management. Researchers have also found that when people with diabetes lift weights, it can improve their quality of life, too.
5. You’ll lose more weight and look slimmer. Besides burning more calories and boosting your metabolism, lifting weights will also help you to lose more body fat.. Again, it all comes down to muscle. When you cut calories and start exercising, your body has to pull energy to fuel your body from somewhere. When you’re just focusing on dieting, the body uses fat for energy, but it also breaks down muscles for fuel (which is not a good thing). When you combine weight training with a healthy nutrition plan, however, you are actually helping to build and maintain muscle mass while you’re losing weight.