A healthy diet and an exercise routine have long been recommended to improve one’s health, and new research suggests that weight lifting may provide more health benefits than just toning and muscle definition.
Weight lifting is widely misunderstood to have a bulking rather than a slimming effect, particularly among women. The phrase “muscle weighs more than fat” contributed to the formation of this deceptive viewpoint.
A pound of fat takes up five times the space on our bodies as a pound of muscle, according to a Patch article. This means you can gain a pound of muscle and lose a pound of fat while maintaining your weight and shrinking in size and adding definition.
A strength training routine, by definition, consists of exercises that build muscles by harnessing resistance against an opposing force. Free weights or one’s own body can provide resistance. Regardless of the resistance, loading your muscles with more than usual makes them stronger.
Another common misconception is that strength training is only for young people. However, studies have revealed new benefits for older people to help them maintain and improve their current health status.
The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference took place in Vancouver, Canada, in 2012. Four new studies presented evidence at the conference that people over the age of 65 should continue to exercise, particularly strength training.
Participants in all four studies who were assigned to the resistance or strength-training groups experienced more than muscle development and improvement. According to a TIMES healthland article, they also saw improvements in memory and attention.
“[Strength-training] not only improves mobility and strength but as the recent research shows, it appears to boost brain functions as well,” said Alexandra Sifferlin, author of TIMES healthland.
Developing a strength-training routine may help some people lose weight while lowering their risk of future health problems. As a result, life insurance premiums may be reduced.