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Can Weightlifting Improve Your Overall Health?

Jun 26, 2008
Would you like to add a few healthy years to your life? Or maybe regain some of that miss-spent youthful vigor? Try weightlifting for a lift in your overall health. Weightlifting has many proven health benefits and is something you can do at any age.

There really is no age limit to lifting weights or doing some other 'resistance' training that will help strengthen your bones. In fact, as you age this becomes more important to help ward off osteoporosis. But there are right and wrong ways to do weight training and it is possible to injure yourself with the wrong techniques.

Weightlifting should be an important part of any gym routine, especially if you're trying to slim down. It will increase your metabolism and speed up fat loss in addition to creating stronger skeletal muscles and bones. A good workout should be more than running on a treadmill or using a stationary bike. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an hour of vigorous weightlifting can burn just as many calories an hour of playing basketball.

Different approaches to weight training can give different results. Our age, body type and overall physical condition will also have an impact on the results. Women, who are increasingly taking up weight training for health reasons, also see different results than men do. Not everyone can end up with a competition form and this should not be your goal. Good health does not rely on competitive condition.

Before beginning a weight training program it is a good idea to consider going to a gym to book a couple of sessions with a trainer. Many gyms offer free sessions to introduce you to the equipment and get you started. Take advantage of it.

There really are multiple health benefits to be gain from weightlifting.

Exercise has long been recognized as beneficial in managing diabetes but the focus has been primarily on endurance training. This is unfortunate because many benefits are gained from weightlifting: improved blood lipid levels; decreased resting blood pressure; improved insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and glycemic control; and improved muscle, bone, and connective tissue strength.

The Canadian government is now recommending that all women over the age of 30 start weightlifting to stay fit and increase their bone density in to ward off obesity, arthritis, osteoporosis, various cancers.

Resistance training, such as weightlifting increases your metabolic rate. When you increase your metabolism you burn more fat. It is that simple. No matter what the infomercials tell you, the only way to increase your metabolism is by exercising to add lean muscle. And you keep the fat burning furnace going for many hours after you exercise.

Weightlifting requires energy so you need to make certain that you are getting all of the nourishment you need to reap the benefits. You may need to consume more calories than normal, even if your ultimate goal is to lose weight.

While weightlifting does offer significant health benefits, you should not ignore your other routines. You should try to incorporate it into an overall workout routine that includes both strength and aerobic training to gain the maximum benefits and enjoy the full, healthy lifestyle you deserve.
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