We all know that to stay healthy we should do more cardio exercise, but it seems that the benefits of lifting weights may have been under-rated.
Any time there are guidelines on a healthy lifestyle they tell us we should be walking, running or jogging more, but new scientific thinking has suggested that building muscle may be just as important.
Scientific evidence has stated that lifting weights can help fight Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as having a positive effect on mental health. Stronger muscles also prevent falls in the elderly and allow people to stay mobile and independent for longer.
In fact, according to a study in the US National Library of Medicine weight training has a better effect on bone and joint strength than aerobic training and does more to help the body deal with everyday activities, making it a better bet especially for ageing gym goers.
Furthermore, lifting weights raises the body’s metabolic rate, meaning that fat is burned off faster even during periods of rest. So while pounding the treadmill may burn off more calories in the short term, pumping iron can lead to a longer-term solution to love handles.
However, studies by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Sports Commission found that only somewhere between 9 and 19% of adults were meeting their recommendation of doing muscle strengthening activities twice per week and over 80% didn’t lift weights at all.
There appears to be a view that weightlifting is the domain of the bodybuilders and that normal people are daunted by getting the techniques right and setting foot in the testosterone heavy free-weights sections of gyms.
Study: Not Enough Importance Is Being Put On Weight Training