By focusing all of your energy on aerobic exercises, you will be missing a serious trick for incredible overall health and fitness.
Here are just some of the things that weight and strength training can do for you…
Increasing muscle mass
Obviously, the more strength training you do, the more muscle you build. Increasing your muscle mass makes it easier to burn more calories. You will also continue to do so for 3-4 hours after you have finished exercising!
This is perfect for those equally trying to lose weight. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn during rest periods. Every pound of muscle you gain means your body uses an extra 50 calories per day.
If you are dieting, up to a quarter of what you lose in weight could be from your muscles. This is why you need to take part in strength training to either rebuild lost muscle or to stop it from being lost in the first place. If you do not weight train, your lost muscle will slow your metabolism making it more difficult to lose weight from diet alone.
Over time, your muscles will become more and more toned. Keeping your muscles toned allows you to maintain a healthy weight. Having plenty of muscle mass also provides more stamina for physical activities as you get stronger.
Looking after blood pressure
Taking part in these exercises can help to make your heart stronger. The stronger your heart, the more blood it will pump with much less effort.
A heart working less will decrease the force on the arteries, thus lowering your overall blood pressure!
Strengthening the immune system
Regular exercise can boost the production of macrophages in the body – these are the cells that attack bacteria. As more of these are produced, infections can become healed much more quickly.
With consistent exercise, you will notice long-term benefits for the immune system. It will remain healthier for longer! It is important to remember that over-training will cause the opposite effects.
Protecting the body in old age
By the age of 50, you can start to lose around 10% of your muscle mass. In your 60s and 70s, this can increase to about 15% per decade. After that, this will increase again to around 30%! Older adults who regularly strength train can improve their strength by up to 3 times their current amount in just 2-3 months.
It’s better to build lean muscle mass while you are still a young adult to maintain a healthier body the older you get. Continuing to build muscle later in life will also protect you from injury. With age often comes a loss of balance, making us more prone to falls. Stronger muscles will support the joints, keeping your body strong and making you less likely to get hurt.
Improving mental health
If we get too stressed, it can take a serious toll on our bodies and even disrupt the way our bodies function.
When lifting weights, we will release natural painkillers called opiates. These are the strongest anti-stress chemicals that exist in our system. After your workout, you will feel refreshed, happy and relaxed.
Not only this but having noticeable strong and toned muscles will be great for your appearance. Looking good helps you to feel good about yourself, boosting your self-confidence.