We all know that weight lifting and strength training is great for building big muscles. But what if a body like Captain America’s is not your ultimate goal?
Is weight training a good exercise for just general fitness? You bet your sweet abs it is!
Weightlifting is probably the single most effective exercise you can do to improve health and general fitness. Weightlifting raises your metabolism. Weightlifting builds strength and self-confidence. Weightlifting can improve your game no matter what sport you are active in. Weightlifting improves cardio function and heart health. Weightlifting can even strengthen bones and lessen or prevent the symptoms associated with osteoporosis.
Weightlifting and Antiaging
Big or small, short or tall, anyone can benefit and benefit greatly from weightlifting. As we age our metabolism slows down and we lose lean muscle mass and bone density. Loss of lean muscle mass leads to an even slower metabolism, and this becomes a vicious cycle leading to an overweight and sedentary lifestyle which brings with it a whole host of other health problems. Now I am not saying that lifting weights and weight training can reverse the aging process, but it can break this cycle, and make you feel fit and keep you fit at any age. Just ask professional bodybuilder Raymond Moon, who looks incredible, and is still going “strong” at 97!
One of the hardest parts of any exercise program is motivation to keep going. It is easier to stay motivated with weightlifting and weight training than most other exercises, because you can see and feel the result in just a short time. Weight lift for only a few weeks and you will start to see an immediate increase in your strength and stamina by 20 to 40%. And this will not only be in the gym, suddenly all those grocery bags you carry home from the store, and your kids when you pick them up — are going to feel that much lighter.
Increased strength and power will improve any sport you are into. Stronger leg muscles will allow you to run faster. A stronger upper body will mean you can hit a ball harder or throw further. Weightlifting and strength training improves stamina overall, and stronger muscles and bones can take more of a pounding, so lifting weights can help prevent other sports-related injuries.
More Than Muscles
Of course, weight training will help you look better. And many people start lifting only to improve their physique and physical appearance. They do not even realize all of the other benefits one gets from sculpting a toned and defined body by weightlifting. While some fitness experts argue that aerobic exercise is better to improve cardiovascular health than weight training, studies have proven that cardiac output increases during weightlifting.
And of course it is a physiological fact that the heart and lungs support all muscle function, so when muscles are taxed during weightlifting their support system is also getting a workout. That is why today most fitness experts suggest that you engage in an exercise program that includes at least some weight lifting combined with cardio, even a few days a week, for total overall good health and fitness.