Photo by Victor Freitas from Pexels

Often when we think of weightlifting we picture bulky power lifters with huge, vein-bulging biceps and barrel thighs. But you don’t need to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger to benefit from lifting weights. 

To prove it, here are 5 benefits of weightlifting that go beyond muscle mass!    

Weightlifting may combat osteoporosis

As we age, our muscles and bones lose mass and gradually weaken. According to some, lifting weights could help to slow down the process of osteoporosis. 

The way it works is that, just like our muscles, our bones respond to the stress of weightlifting by growing stronger. Ultimately this helps to prevent bone loss.

Improves functional strength and movement

By engaging in proper weight training, we’re training our bodies to adapt to physical stress. This means that outside the gym we’ll be more equipped to deal with the physical activities of our daily lives. Which, in turn, will help us to work harder for longer in a more effective manner.

Lifting weights may also enhance our mobility by improving our body awareness. So when we stand up out of a seat, climb the stairs, or get out of a car, our bodies know which muscles to use for maximum safety and efficiency.

Reduces risk of disease

Just like swimming, running, and walking, lifting weights may help to reduce your risk of disease. One interesting study found that men who lifted weights for 150 minutes every week had a 34% lower risk of developing diabetes. Side note: the study also found that the addition of regular cardio exercise reduced the risk by a whopping 59%!

It’s also believed that the kind of muscle fibres our bodies build whilst lifting weights (type II), improve our whole-body metabolism. Which could lead to a reduction in body fat and serve towards preventing obesity and obesity-related illnesses. 

May help relieve back pain

We’ve talked elsewhere on the blog about the importance of regular exercise for office workers. But if you’re one of the many people working a desk job, then weightlifting could serve as a great antidote to sitting down all day. Especially if you suffer with lower back pain.

Lifting weights may help to strengthen the core, and the core muscles are the ones that support our spines. But if you do suffer from back pain, just remember to exercise responsibly and be aware of the potentially negative effects weightlifting can have on the back

Provides a better quality of life

The good news is that not only can lifting weights make us look great, but it could make us feel great too. With persistence and discipline, weightlifting can help us tone up and manage our weight, which may contribute to increased body confidence.

This increase in confidence could then trigger elevations in mood. And just like with other forms of regular exercise, it could help to regulate stress and anxiety and stabilise our emotions.

Lift, lift, lift!

Need one more push before hitting the free weights? Here’s how to motivate yourself to workout. Or if you’re just starting out and feel apprehensive about approaching weightlifting without any support, why not look into hiring a personal trainer. They can start you off in the right direction and provide all the guidance you’ll need to get lifting!