To Lift or Not to Lift: The Weight Dilemma
When it comes to lifting weights, there seem to be two kinds of people: those for and those against. It’s rare to find someone riding the fence about weight lifting. Those that are for this challenging form of exercise, tout benefits such as muscle growth, fat burning, and boosted moods. Those against the practice are generally afraid of “bulking up” or getting too much muscle than what they are prepared for. While it’s understandable to have some trepidation about lifting, the pros far outweigh the cons. Take a look at a few of these great reasons to get in the gym and pump some iron.
A Lean Body
When you lift weights, you are undoubtedly going to get stronger and more toned muscles. A lot of people believe that weight lifting will cause you to look bulky, but unless you’re eating for the purpose of bulking, it’s not going to happen. Instead, you are more likely to burn fat and tone what’s already there. Your muscles will probably get somewhat bigger, yes, but you won’t look like a bodybuilder at the end. The great thing about muscle is that it helps to burn fat. So by lifting, you’re gaining muscle and losing fat in one fell swoop.
A faster metabolism means that you burn calories more quickly and more efficiently. This is good for the purpose of either losing or maintaining weight. Muscle helps to speed up the metabolism, so by gaining strength in your muscle, you are also speeding up the body’s ability to burn fuel. This is what helps contribute to the lean look of people that use weights as a regular part of their workout. The muscle grows while the fat burns, leading to a long, lean, toned look.
A recent study compared the mood boosting effects of weightlifting to other forms of exercise. Surprisingly, weightlifting ranked close to yoga for creating more positive moods and a calmer demeanor. While researchers still aren’t perfectly clear on why this occurs, it is thought that because weightlifting is a discipline, it gives many of the same benefits as other exercises that focus on form and self discipline. It also gives you a better body, which always gives the mind and self esteem a push in the right direction.
While you may be tempted to shy away from the weight room, these benefits prove that taking a turn on the bench is definitely worth it. You’ll notice significant gains in your health and fitness, and as a bonus, you’re likely to see a boost in mental health as well. Make weights a part of your regular routine to reap the benefits and get in the best shape of your life.