13 Benefits of Weight lifting
Whenever you check out any fitness website or magazine, buff and chiseled men and women stare back at you, toned, tanned and happy. Although many of those images are probably Photoshopped, it's clear those people have put in their time at the gym. But maybe they're on to something: Research shows that not only can weightlifting improve your body composition and give you a toned appearance, it can also improve your overall health and make you a happier person. Weightlifting can help you burn fat, reduce your risk of diabetes, prevent back pain and even help you fight depression. Read on to find out all the benefits of weightlifting.
1 Muscle Fights Fat
Want to eat that extra piece of pizza without feeling guilty? Lift weights. In study published in the February 2008 issue of Cell Metabolism, Boston University researchers demonstrated that type II muscle fibers, the kind you build when you lift weights, improve whole-body metabolism. The researchers genetically engineered mice with a type II muscle growth-regulating gene that could be turned on and off. After eight weeks on a high-fat, high-sugar diet, they activated the gene, but did not change the mice's diet. Without any change in activity level, the mice lost total body fat. The researchers concluded that an increase in type II muscle fibers can reduce body fat without changes to diet and might be effective in the fight against obesity.
When it comes to the effects of exercise on depression, aerobic exercise, such as running and swimming, has been much more extensively researched than anaerobic exercise, such as weightlifting. But as one study reports, there's little difference between the two in terms of how well they relieve symptoms of depression. A study published in The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 2004, followed 40 women and found similar results in those who ran and those who lifted weights for eight weeks. In addition, there was no difference in the percentage of participants in the two groups who remained non-depressed during follow-up.