The Benefits of Weight Training

 Weight training is critical, especially as we age
  1. Weight training helps you lose fat, as muscle is metabolically active and helps you burn more calories at rest.  For each pound of muscle you gain, you will burn 35-50 more calories daily.  So, for example, if you gain three pounds of muscle and burn 40 extra calories per pound, you will burn 120 more calories per day, or approximately 3600 more calories per month.  This equates to a loss of 10 to 12 pounds in one year!
  2. Weight training makes you stronger.  Even a moderate intensity strength training program will increase strength by 30 to 50 percent!
  3. Weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density by 13 percent in six months, offering powerful protection against osteoporosis.
  4. Weight training reduces the risk of diabetes, by increasing glucose utilization in the body by at least 23 percent in four months.
  5. Weight training helps fight heart disease, by improving your cholesterol profile and blood pressure (a combination of weight training and cardiovascular exercise is ideal).
  6. Weight training helps conquer back pain and fight arthritis.  A recent 12-year study showed that strengthening the low-back muscles had an 80 percent success rate in eliminating or reducing low-back pain.  Other studies have indicated that for women, weight training can ease arthritis pain and strengthen joints.
  7. Weight training helps you become a better athlete, by improving your proficiency and reducing the risk of injury.
  8. Weight training improves mental health.  A Harvard study found that just 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counselling.

Exercise Specialist Recommendations The most important recommendation, above all others, is to work closely with an experienced professional who can carefully design a program that is safe and will address any health concerns you have.  The right exercises for one person can create or exacerbate injuries for another.  Another point to consider is that a program must be changed as strength increases, otherwise further improvements will not be realized.