5 Benefits of Lifting Weights

Growing up I played multiple sports and lifting weights was a common ingredient in all of them. It varied in amount and frequency depending on the sport. Football required a lot versus soccer. But non the less, lifting weights was involved. And the intensity of the weight lifting was a lot more during the Off-Season. I write this because I’ve seen and heard many talking about increasing their weight lifting during this Obstacle Course Racing off-season. Trying to take advantage of some of the down time from races to work on building some strength.

So here’s 5 Benefits to lifting weights (besides the obvious of just getting stronger):

  1. It builds a healthier heart
    • According to a recent Iowa State University study, adding a little weight lifting to your weekly routine can reduce your chance of heart disease and strokes by 40% – 70%.
  2. It allows you to burn more calories
    • The more muscles you have the more calories you burn…even while resting.
  3. It helps prevent injury
    • Lifting weights helps build muscle mass and bone density. Stronger bones mean they are less likely to fracture. And by building muscle strength around the joints, this also aids in preventing injuries by giving more support to those joints.
  4. It helps in managing diabetes
    • People who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can benefit from the extra toning of their muscles which can help with blood glucose management.
  5. It can help improve your mental health
    • Exercise is known to for its mental health benefits; but lifting weights has been linked to significant anxiety reduction. It has also been linked with the reduction in depression.

Now, I’m not suggesting everyone abandon your current exercise routine and start lifting weights! I believe in a healthy balance of multiple forms of exercise (weight lifting, running, HIIT, functional fitness, etc) to help achieve a well-rounded athletic and healthy body.