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Want to Lose Weight Faster? Lift Weights

Do you think lifting weights is just for body builders with big bulging arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger back in his body building days? If so, think again. Nearly everyone can lift weights – adolescents, middle-aged people and frail people in their 90s. In fact, you most likely should, since there are so many benefits; plus, it’s quick and easy. Read on to see how weight lifting might benefit you.

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What are Some Benefits of Lifting Weights?

Lifting weights does much more than firm and better define muscles. Muscle, unlike fat, is “active tissue”, so it burns energy even when you’re not exercising. A bonus is that the more muscle you have, the more energy you’ll burn. This helps with weight loss and weight maintenance.

The amount of muscle on your body falls as you age because of hormonal changes. Did you know that muscle mass can drop as much as 50 per cent between the ages of 20 and 90? There is good news, though – challenging your muscles can counteract this loss.

Check out these other benefits.
  • Improves self image and sense of achievement.
  • Strengthens bones, so reduces the risk of osteoporosis (brittle bones).
  • Increases strength and endurance for everyday activities, like carrying in the shopping.
  • Makes joints more flexible.
  • Helps reduces feelings of stress, premenstrual tension and anxiety.
  • Improves balance. This is especially good for the elderly, as falls are common in this age group.
  • Helps prevent diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and other illnesses.

What Weight Lifting Program Suits You?

There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to a weight lifting program. People vary in regards to how much weight they can lift, the parts of the body they aim to strengthen and so on.

Plan your own program or get a trainer. Join a gym, lift weights at home or do a bit of both. Grab a book on weight lifting, a DVD or visit a good website. Go at your own pace and do what suits you.

What Types of Weights are Best?

Use expensive gym equipment or simple, inexpensive hand-held free weights. Lifting full water bottles or tins of canned food can work too. The classified section of your local newspaper could have good quality second hand gym equipment for a fraction of the price of new equipment. For best results, increase the amount of weight you lift over time.

Will Lifting Weights Make Women Bulk-Up?

If you’re a woman who worries that lifting weights will make you bulk-up like the hulk – don’t fret. Women have lower testosterone levels than men, which limits how big a woman’s muscles will grow. Muscle is denser than fat, so you can lose centimetres even if your weight remains the same.

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Next: What are Some Possible Side-Effects of Lifting Weights?

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