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Manage Your Stress Using Weight Lifting Exercises

Dec 5, 2007
Managing stress and getting relief from tension is possible through physical activity. Weight lifting can be an excellent source of stress relief, as it provides both long-term and short-term goals.

Short-term, you want to be able to lift a specific weight a certain number of times, and long-term, your goal is to get your body into better physical shape. The rewards of weight lifting increase the more you practice it, which can be perfect for relieving tension and focusing your goals.

Starting a weight-lifting routine isn't always easy, and you may have sore muscles or be a little discouraged that it's tougher than you thought. Continuing with your routine for a month or two will show some big changes, though, so stick with it and you'll be amazed at the results.

There are a wide variety of workout strategies that you can apply, and you can tailor your routine to add muscle mass, tone the muscles you have, or increase your overall strength. Some people like to focus on one area of their body, such as working on biceps, legs, or abs, while others get into weight lifting just for something to do and to be in better physical shape.

If you have not lifted weights in a while, or ever, you will want to start with moderate workouts that work all the muscle groups you want to focus on. For a moderate beginning workout, you will probably want to do each lift ten times (called reps), and repeat three times (which are called sets).

You should use enough weight so that you struggle a little with the last couple reps in the third set. Most people recommend lifting twice a week, and four times a week at the most. After you can lift without getting sore, you can begin to tailor your workouts to focus on your long-term goals.

If you want to tone a specific muscle group, you will want to work that muscle group with lots of reps, probably 15-20 reps, with less weight then what you would normally use. You can do three sets, although more is better since the key to toning your muscles is to make them flex many times.

However, if you are only concerned with building strength and are not worried muscle tone, you will want to do less reps, like 5 per set (10 at the very most), and use more weight than normal. Regardless of what your weight lifting goals are, increasing your protein intake will typically help you achieve those goals sooner.

Your age, sex, and genetics will play a large part in the immediate results, but anyone can improve their health and reduce stress by lifting weights. Weight lifting can be a great way to blow off some steam or just focus on something besides work, bills, obligations, etc. that come up in everyone's life. If you stick with weight lifting long enough, you will probably find it very enjoyable and that something is missing if you skip a day of lifting.
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