Have you been shunning the weight room? Okay, maybe you do not desire to develop 20-inch biceps or strong-looking thighs the size of a tree trunk. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore picking up a few pounds of weight. Look at it like this – lifting weights is not just for building strong muscles. It provides many other benefits, such as making you strong in fighting off health conditions as you age – belly fat, stress, heart disease, and maybe even cancer.
You see images of sculpted, finely chiseled bodies on websites or TV. The effort of taking the time to lift weights achieves the body you clamor for. You admire their dedication to turning their bodies into works of art, but you may believe that weightlifting is only for young athletes competing against one another.
But that is far from the truth. The truth is weightlifting for everyone. The truth is you don’t have to be young or an athlete or even famous for taking the time and effort to pick up a piece of equipment that will challenge and change your body into what you only dreamed of.
Never believe you are too awkward, old, or weak to start a weightlifting program. You can make a difference in reshaping your body no matter what stage in life you are in. Did you know that lifting weights can be beneficial for adults over 50? A study featured in The American Journal of Medicine revealed that elderly individuals who engaged in weightlifting for a duration of 18-20 weeks experienced an average muscle gain of 2.42 pounds and a strength increase of 25-30%.
So, here are several reasons why weightlifting is for everyone, including you:
Lifting weights will help define and tone muscles giving you an improved appearance. In addition, lifting weights makes everyday tasks much easier – carrying groceries, carrying kids, lifting heavy items from the floor, gardening, or making the bed.
When your muscles are toned and firm, suddenly, your clothes fit better, making you look healthier and in shape.
Building muscles creates lean muscle mass, which is more metabolically active, helping you burn extra calories even at rest. You basically become a calorie-burning machine throughout the day. As a result, your metabolism increases, a bonus in helping you lose weight.
Weight lifting releases the “feel good” hormones called endorphins. There is also the feeling of accomplishment and pride in yourself, reinforcing your want to return regularly to lift weights, achieving that feeling repeatedly.
Lifting weights is a terrific weight-bearing exercise, necessary to build not just strong muscles but also strengthen bones. When your bones are stronger, your risk of osteoporosis is reduced.
Coaches want their athletes in the weight room to help reduce the risk of injuries. You don’t have to be an athlete to gain this benefit. Lifting weights makes muscles and bones strong and connective tissue – all the ligaments and tendons helping move your body. When connective tissue is strong, you can do more work with less risk of injury.
If you fail to keep your muscles strong, muscle mass atrophies, leading to losing balance. You will become more unstable, affecting your ability to move easily and increasing the risk of falls. Lifting weights allows your joints to move through a full range of motion, keeping you steady on your feet and enhancing your general ability to move.
As you lift weights, you breathe more deeply, causing your heart rate to go up, and giving you a mini aerobic workout. Not only does your heart get a workout, but your blood pressure tends to decrease when you pump iron regularly.
Having a toned, muscular body gives a person that boosts self-confidence, knowing that you not only look better but feel better. Feeling good about oneself results in enjoying life to its fullest. You’ll be more capable of participating in activities, making you happy, making anyone seem much younger than their years.
If weight lifting is new to you, check with your physician before starting, and always start slowly, lifting light weights. Then, consult with a personal trainer or attend a weight lifting class to learn proper form and how heavy weights, to begin with.
Weight training does not have to be intimidating. You can lift the light weights you want or build up to heavier weights achieving your personal fitness goals. The important thing is to take the initiative to begin lifting and discovering how well your body will respond to a healthy method of getting in shape.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.