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5 Reasons To Start Lifting Weights

5 Reasons To Start Lifting Weights
Weight lifting, strength training, resistance training, etc. are not just about building bigger muscles. Of course, one popular goal is to enhance muscle tone and one's overall physique, but the majority of people who train weekly acknowledge that the benefits go far beyond muscular growth. Here are 5 reasons why you need to start lighting weights, right now.
  1. Weights Burn Fat – While you’ve most likely been told that cardio is the key to burning fat, weight training is actually far more valuable. Why? The more muscular you are, the more fat you burn. More muscle and less fat means that you’ll burn more calories at work, on the couch, and while you’re sleeping (aka having a higher resting metabolism). According to Women’s Health, when Penn State researchers put dieter’s into three groups—no exercise, aerobic exercise only, or aerobic exercise and weight training—they all lost around 21 pounds, but those lifting shed six more pounds of fat than those who didn’t pump iron. The reason was because the lifters’ weight loss was almost pure fat; the others lost fat and muscle. Protect those muscles by doing a combination of cardio and weight training every week.
  1. You’ll Build Stronger Bones –Resistance training is a great way to combat loss of bone mass, and it decreases the risk of osteoporosis (a condition that causes bones to gradually thin and weaken, leaving them susceptible to fractures) as you age. The earlier you begin weightlifting, the greater chance you have to maintain bone health later in life.
  1. Your Heart Will Be Healthier – Pumping iron really does get your blood flowing. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that people who performed three total-body weight workouts per week for 2 months decreased diastolic blood pressure by an average of eight points. That's enough to reduce the risk of a stroke by 40 percent, and the risk of a heart attack by 15 percent. The American Heart Association recommends adults aim for at least two strength-training sessions a week.
  1. You’ll Sleep Better – Lifting hard helps you rest easier. In a small 2012 study in older men, researchers found that resistance training reduced the number of times the study participants woke up during the night, as compared to a control group who performed no exercise. Australian researchers also observed that patients who performed three total-body weight workouts a week for 8 weeks experienced a 23 percent improvement in sleep quality. In fact, the study participants were able to fall asleep faster and slept longer than before they started lifting weights.
  1. You’ll Relieve Stress – Researchers have consistently found that those who regularly weight train tend to manage stress better and experience fewer adverse reactions to stressful situations as those who do not exercise. Also, the act of lifting heavy or challenging weight can help you release all of the negative energy you may be carrying around. Next time you need to blow off some steam, hit the weights!
Cheers, Teresa & WANU Sources: Women's Health, WebMD, American Heart Association, Oprah.comPrinciples and Practice of Resistance Training

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