By: Sharita Jennings (Pictured Above)
10. Get More Sleep & More Energy: This is a 2-for-1 deal. When you perform resistance exercises (body weight or with weights) just a few times a week, you will sleep more soundly, thereby increasing your energy sources for the next day! You’ll also have wonderful dreams of looking hot in a swim suit or jeans (not scientifically supported, but you’ll see for yourself!)
9. Fight off Disease: Resistance work not only makes you physically stronger on the outside, it also assists in lowering your risk for diseases like diabetes (lowering blood sugar), heart disease (improving cardio vascular endurance), and cancer (increasing cell health). So grab something heavy, or do some push ups immediately!
8. Destress: Science tells us that lifting weights a few times a week helps our body handle stress better by literally lowering our stress hormones. My take on this is that you let out a lot of that stress when you challenge your body to do something new. How stressed can you be in the middle of a bench press?
7. Build Strong Bones: It may seem crazy, but weight-bearing exercise actually makes your bones stronger because your body improves your bone density over time to keep up with the new challenge! Over time, you can prevent bone loss and actually grow stronger bones just by adding some resistance to your workout. Goodbye old-age shrinking, and fragile bones!
6. Stick to a Diet: Here’s another double whammy. When you lift weights regularly, you can eat a bit more each day and still lose weight. And by a bit more, I mean that one extra serving of pasta or protein won’t kill your diet. In addition, all that lifting will signal to your brain not to cheat on your diet. Researchers have found that dieters who lift are more inclined to stick to an eating plan than those who do not. Strong body and crazy strong willpower!
5. Become Benjamin Button: Once you start lifting weights regularly, you will literally add years to your life. The more you use your muscles, the less likely they are to weaken and break down with age. This means you can keep playing your favorite sports and feeling young well into your golden years. The key is consistency over a long time so that your muscles remain trained to perform!
4. #GetFitLikeThat Faster: While cardio is known to improve your overall cardiovascular endurance, weight training actually raises your heart rate more than running at about 70% of your max HR. This means while you tone your body, you’re also improving your endurance, meaning you’ll be in better overall shape even faster than with cardio alone!
3. Look Better in EVERYTHING: Resistance training increases muscle mass, which takes up less space than fat. This mean you will lose inches, which is definitely easier to see than a couple of pounds on the scale! Go ahead and slip into those high school jeans, that tight tee, or swim suit! You’ll want to lift even more!
2. Burn More Calories Doing Absolutely Nothing: Increased muscle mass means more calorie burn while you’re at rest. Your muscles are constantly using energy (read: calories) to repair and grow, which means even after you leave the gym, or during your laziest day, you’ll burn more calories than a non-lifter. Crazy right?!
1. Lose 40% MORE FAT!
Weight training is the most effective way to lose body fat, especially stubborn belly fat. Countless studies have found that dieters who added weight training to their routines reduced their body fat numbers about 50% more than non-lifters. If you want to lose weight, but keep your figure and curves, you have to maintain your muscle! More muscle and less fat also makes it easier to maintain your weight over time.
Check out some workouts to get started on your lifting journey! Your body will thank you from the inside out!
Sharita Jennings is a group fitness instructor in Washington, D.C., specializing in strength conditioning, high intensity interval training, and bootcamps. Sharita is also the creator of the blog, getfitlikethat.com where she shares nutrition tips, workouts, and general motivation to keep readers focused! Visit her blog or check out one of her classes if you are in the D.C. area.