There has been much discussion of why our bodies benefit from resistance training.

It serves well to review these popular benefits and to also discuss the benefits of weight lifting that are not talked about as often…but probably should be!

We all now know that aerobics helps our heart health, burns body fat, and improves our overall circulatory system. We also know that resistance or weight training maximizes our muscle system so that we can be a better and able physical specimen.

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More focused discussion will include the aerobic fat-burning factor and also the non-aerobic, sugar-burning factor. We know muscle tissue is active…fat is not. Active tissue consumes metabolism so weight training helps control body composition. This, alongside aerobic training is a “win-win” combination that is essential to total body health.

Benefits of weight lifting that are not as commonly discussed…

So let’s discuss other benefits that are not always the topic of conversation. We rarely see chronic problems with muscle tissue..the muscle “belly”. Where we see problems are in the connective tissues: tendons and ligaments.

A quick informative here: Tendons are the evolved “end” or “tip” of the muscle itself. It’s this “tip” that infuses and attaches muscles into the bones. Blood-filled muscle tissues typically extend toward a skeletal joint, then evolve to a low-blood “tendon” tissue which crosses the joint and attaches to the other side.

This gives us the ability to contract the muscle to bend the joint. Kind of like a puppet string. Ligaments are also tough connective tissues but they hold the bone joints together. Kind of like a door hinge. In other words, ligaments hold the hinges together, while tendons connect the muscles to move and bend the hinges.

Hour-long jogging, marathons, and other long-duration events put a lot of pounding on these connective tissues. Resistance training,on the other hand, is concentrating on loading the muscles and making them move those “hinges”. As a result, our muscle tissues improve in endurance, size/density, and strength/power.

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But in addition to muscular “see-able” results, those connective tissues also get tougher. The infusion/attachment gets tougher. The chance of overuse and inflammation does down (if training is done safely of course). It is this vulnerable tissue that can disrupt our lives so it makes sense to improve it as well.

Improving bone density…

Bone density. Enough said! As we age, we worry about bone density. Now, not everyone is going to be suffering mightily with osteoporosis, but we all have the chance of losing bone density. In fact, most of us have heard stories about “Grandma falling and breaking her hip”.

Well, in reality they are finding that in many cases, Grandma was simply walking across the room and her bone density was so low that the act of walking was too much for her and she suffered a bone fracture right then and there……and as a result….fell down!

We are only as strong as our weakest link. Whether that weak link is soft tissue or skeletal bone, we will suffer some problem one way or the other due to that weakness. What many people do not realize is how we manufacture bone material. When we bend a bone, it will produce material to make that bone stronger.

But here’s more…….when we simply TRY to bend it…in other words when we put a force of bending or flexion on that bone…well, that does the same thing….it produces more bone material. As we weight train, we are loading the skeletal “frame” as well. We are putting all kinds of stress on our bones which causes them to manufacture that needed material to keep our underlying framework strong.

Our body’s ability to handle blood sugar levels…

One final benefit which isn’t often discussed is the body’s ability to handle blood sugar levels. When we are sedentary, we lose the ability to effectively handle this. When we eat poorly at the same time, we risk health problems like Type II Diabetes and other conditions that might otherwise be avoided (now, genetic factors are still perhaps the most influential in disease, but there have been many cases of disease and conditions that would not have occurred if preventive measures and lifestyle were better managed).

Point is….we were built to move around. This makes our bodies operate like they are meant to. Not only are the chemical and metabolic processes working properly, our “moving parts” and “frame” are kept in their best condition. All good reasons to include and to get benefits of weight lifting in your life!

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