Whether you are man or woman, fat or thin, short or long, weight training is good for your health. When I first went to gym, my mum had this perception that only those bulky type of body builders will train with weights and use the resistance machine. She would ask, “Why go to gym? Why not help me to mop the floor at home since you just want to build muscle?”
I told her, “If mopping floor help build muscle, janitor will be the next Mr Universe.” Sigh. Most people are ill-informed as to how weight training can help them lead a healthier life.
Now, let’s look at the top 4 benefits of weight training.
1) Increase Muscle Endurance, Strength and Power
- Muscular endurance – You will be able to perform an activity for an extended period of time.
- Strength – You will be able exert a high amount of force. In layman words, weight training makes you stronger. It is usually very easy for you to maintain motivation when commencing a weight training program because during the first 6 to 8 weeks of training, your strength will improve dramatically. There is no need to worry that you are putting on muscle way too quickly at this point. These initial strength gains are due to your muscles learning to work more efficiently. In a game or sport situation, being stronger would be an advantage.
- Power – You will be able to exert a high amount of force in a short amount of time (sound like Physic subject). Being strong is good, but being strong and being quick makes you powerful. When do we need power? When you start sprinting, you need to have powerful legs. When you trip and lose your balance, then being able to quickly extend your leg and stop your body from falling also requires you to be powerful. Netballers, basketball players or rugby players, all need powerful upper bodies too. So training with weights, in the proper forms, can actually make you quicker, not slower.
By having endurance, strength and power, you will find it easier to do your daily living activities such as housework (including mopping floor), yard work, moving furniture, and carrying bags.
2) Increase Bone Density
From a general health perspective, as we age, we lose bone mass. When this loss of bone exceeds a high enough level, it is known as osteoporosis. Weight training has a positive effect on our bone density. It helps combat the effects of decreasing bone mass. If we have more muscle mass and bone mass, we can allow our bodies to be better conditioned as we age.
3) Increased Metabolic Rate
Weight training will help build muscles. Muscles will help you increase the body’s metabolic rate, causing the body to burn more calories throughout the day. You will be still burning more calories while you are sleeping.
4) Feel Better and Look Better
It is a wonderful feeling to feel strong, especially after the workout. Stronger muscles and joints can have a dramatic impact on posture. With good poster and leaner toned muscles, you will feel better about your appearance.
I am neither an elite athlete nor I a hardcore bodybuilder. But, I enjoy weight training. So, the next time your mum ask you help to mop the floor at home rather than working out in gym, tell her they are two different things. Both may make you sweat, but the latter make you better with the benefits I just mentioned. In fact, weight training will help you have more strength to mop floor!
(Mopping floor and weight training are not mutually exclusive. In other words, you still can lift weight at gym and help mopping the floor after your workout.)