Lifting weights doesn’t just make you look good without clothes on – it has a myriad of health and well-being benefits that other types of exercise can’t provide! Any form of exercise is immensely beneficial for health and well-being, however, lifting weights creates a unique type of stress on the body;
- It results in a high degree of muscular force production,
- It places a high amount of mechanical stress on the bones,
- It is low-impact, and
- It triggers anabolic signalling pathways.
These factors have three main benefits to your health and well-being:
- It helps to prevent sarcopenia
- It helps to prevent osteoporosis
- It helps you to maintain your independence and improve your quality of life
1. Helps to Prevent Sarcopenia
Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass and strength due to ageing. We lose as much as 40% of our muscle mass from age 20 to 80! This loss of muscle mass results in a host of issues, including:
Reduction in BMR, which contributes to an increase in body fat,
- Reduced ability to complete everyday tasks,
- Increased risk of injury,
- Increased risk of disability,
- Increased risk of acute and chronic diseases,
- Insulin resistance,
- Increased risk of mortality, and
- Rheumatoid conditions, especially arthritis.
But lifting weights can change all of that. Lifting weights triggers anabolic pathways in the body that help to combat sarcopenia by maintaining or even increasing our muscle mass as we age. This helps to keep your body fit, healthy and functional, which can help to:
- Improve the quality of life
- Prolong your independence
- Improve functional ability (i.e., your ability to conduct tasks, such as walking and being mobile).
2. Helps to Prevent Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is the loss of bone mass and internal structure. This loss of bone mass and structure results in the bone becoming fragile, consequently, increasing the risk of fractures. The worst part about osteoporosis is that it doesn’t present any obvious symptoms; it often isn’t until you have an injury or bone fracture that you find out you’ve had poor bone health!
Oestrogen plays a key role in bone health, which makes females especially prone to osteoporosis post-menopause due to changes in their hormonal balance. Osteoporosis typically occurs over years and decades and, in the same way, takes years to rebuild the density and strength of the bone due to its low blood supply. Like most things, but especially in this case, prevention is better than cure. Thankfully, one of the best ways to help prevent osteoporosis is the very same thing that helps you to remain fit, strong and looking good – lifting weights!
Lifting weights, especially heavy loads, places the bone under high tensile forces. It is believed this triggers mechanostats to increase bone formation, which helps to increase the size, density and strength of bones. This can help to prevent and even reverse osteoporosis. The best weight lifting helps to do all this with very little impact on the bones and joints, making it an ideal form of exercise for those with joint pain and issues or who have high body mass.
3. Helps to Maintain Independence & Quality of Life
One of the best benefits of exercise is that helps to keep us independent and quality of our life. It helps to:
- Protect against disease and premature death,
- Reduce the risk of falls,
- Help prevent, manage and treat arthritis, and
- Delay cognitive decline and improve our mental health.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading causes of death around the world. These are diseases that are chronic and include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic respiratory disease
Lack of physical activity is one of the main causes of non-communicable diseases and it is estimated 1.6 million deaths are attributed to a lack of physical activity each year. Weight lifting is an excellent form of exercise that can reduce the risk of obtaining an NCD while also helping to improve other areas of your health and well-being that aerobic exercise cannot.
Reduce the Risk of Falls
After the age of 50, the prevalence of falls increases with 30% of people experiencing a fall at least once per year after the age of 65. Falls are one of the most common causes of hip and back fractures, which can significantly impair your mobility and wipe out your independence. Weight lifting can significantly help to reduce the incidence of falling as it helps to improve postural control by strengthening the muscles. It can also decrease the severity of a fall by improving your ability to react and break your fall so that you don’t hit the ground as hard.
Arthritis is a condition that results in inflammation or swelling of the joints. It is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the world. It typically results in joint pain and stiffness that can be debilitating. Weight lifting has been shown to help manage rheumatoid arthritis and can be an effective prevention and treatment for osteoarthritis.
Mental health issues are common in society, especially anxiety, depression and stress. These health issues can significantly reduce the quality of your life and those around you. Thankfully, exercise is significantly beneficial in helping to reduce anxiety and depression, and improve your ability to cope with stress, both acutely and chronically. Studies have shown that those who include weightlifting in their exercise regime have the best results and perception of their health.
Most people associate weightlifting with just training to look good, but it is one of the best things you can do for your health. It boasts a myriad of health benefits that other forms of exercise cannot provide, such as strengthening muscles to help prevent sarcopenia, stimulating bone formation to help prevent osteoporosis, reducing the risk of falls, preventing, managing and treating arthritis, and protecting against diseases and your mental health. As with most things, the sooner you start, the better, and prevention is always better than cure.
Get Started With a Weight Lifting Program Tailored to Your Goals, Body & Lifestyle
Lifting weights is a fun way to exercise; it just has to be in line with your goals, preferences, and lifestyle! Our coaches are experts at designing programs that are tailored to you so that you feel safe and comfortable and enjoy your training. Check out our health & fitness programs to get started with the best program for you!