The benefits of a personal fitness routine cannot be overstated. In terms of staying active and energetic, feeling and looking good, and preventing common disorders like heart disease and diabetes, working exercise into your lifestyle may be the best move you ever make. However, there’s only so much you can accomplish with the aerobic style of workout. Certainly it can help you lose weight and improve cardiac and respiratory function, and depending which regimen you elect to follow, you might even tone your muscles to some degree. But if you want to increase strength, seriously tone, or even bulk up, you’re going to have to incorporate some weight training into your exercise routine, and there may be more benefits than you think.
Of course, there are the easy-to-see results that will start to appear within just weeks of beginning a weight lifting regimen. You will notice that your muscles rapidly become more defined. And if you do a variety of weight training movements, you can see results in all areas of the body for overall toning. For bulking, you will have to do more than merely develop a comprehensive routine. You must not only stick to a regular schedule and vary your weight training accordingly; you should also increase your caloric intake (protein in particular). But that is a specific type of weight training. There are also a number of benefits that come with merely picking up some small hand weights and doing a few reps.
Did you know that muscle burns more calories than fat? It’s true. You may be nervous about showing a few more pounds on the scale when your start converting your fat to muscle and this is a perfectly valid fear. Since muscle is denser than fat, it tends to weigh more. However, the muscle you gain will not only burn more calories, allowing you to lose weight more quickly should you so choose, you will also look better when the parts that used to jiggle become firm and toned. You can’t base your entire exercise routine on the number you see on the scale. You also need to take into account how you look and feel (and what size jeans you’re fitting into these days).
However, it’s not all about looks. In addition to toning and bulking your muscles and improving your overall endurance, weight training can make you stronger in a variety of ways It can shore up your skeletal system as well as increasing strength in your ligaments and tendons. If you have body aches, a good weight lifting routine can help you to improve problem areas and reduce pain (when properly executed, so consult with your physician or a specialist before beginning any regimen that includes weights). It can also help you psychologically. When you look and feel better physically, you’re going to notice a subsequent boost in self-confidence that will leave you with an improved attitude and a better outlook on life.
So whether you’re in it to lose the spare tire and wave goodbye to bat wings, you want to bulk up a lanky frame, or you’re looking to raise your endurance for the upcoming marathon, adding a strength training and weight lifting component to your workout schedule can give you the results you crave as well as providing long-term physical and psychological benefits.