Beneﬁts of Weight Training
Back in the day, I remember being worried, if I lifted weights, I would “get big” which wasn’t my desired esthetic. I do not see resistance or weight training the same way at all. It is part of my weekly exercise schedule not only when I add resistance when I am in a cycle class, but in Pilates when I push against the spring to move the carriage or in a HIIT class with actual free weights.
Now I am smaller, than when I was worried about getting bigger. Weird right? Not really if we spend a little time looking into why weight training makes us leaner and maybe a little meaner.
Resistance training makes it a heck of a lot easier for me to get the giant 5 gallon water bottles into the house and onto the dispenser. I used to have to wait to my husband to get home to do it. I can carry my luggage from our bedroom down to the ﬁrst ﬂoor of our house and generally be a bad ass at Costco. I can lift the giant bags of dog food onto the shopping cart, from the cart to EW Wellness Solutions the belt, from the belt back to the shopping cart and so on until the stinking giant bag of dog food is in the dog food dispenser and I am now questioning when we ever got a dog a in the ﬁrst place!! In all seriousness, my everyday life is easier in that I am stronger.
I never gave much thought to my bone density until recently, and even now it isn’t on the top 10 things I worry about when I am going to sleep or the random thoughts that come in when I am trying to meditate. However, it is very important to think about our bodies will be in 20-40 years based upon our habits now. In one study, postmenopausal women who participated in a strength training program for a year saw signiﬁcant increases in their bone density in the spine and hips, areas affected most by osteoporosis in older women.
Resistance training increases our lean muscle mass. Muscles play a vital role in supporting overall health and wellness, especially into old age. They aren’t just about looking good (although that’s a nice bonus), and they aren’t just about the occasional need to help your friends move; they’re a critical factor in metabolic health, body weight control, bone strength, and resilience to stress and disease.
Additional muscle will increase athletic performance and decreases our injury risk. So, when I add upper body speciﬁc resistance training to my workout routine, I am much stronger when I surf. I can paddle for longer and I do not tire as easily. I am also less likely to get pull a muscle or aggravate my shoulder.
Do not be afraid to add resistance training to your workouts, go for the heavier weights in class or at the gym. Work up to a heavier weight and see how grateful your body is for the help, not just for the aesthetics, but for the everyday beneﬁts for today and for many tomorrows.