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When one thinks of weights, they think of big bulking muscles reminiscent of bodybuilders and professional wrestlers. While appealing for some women, other women prefer to be not just strong but lean as well.

Weight training continues to be an often discarded form of exercise due to common misconceptions about its effects on one’s body. It should be known that incorporating weights into your routine can help you achieve both strength and a leaner body.  

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One of its most appealing traits is its versatility.  While it can help you achieve a more muscular physique, lifting can also help you tone up. If you’re looking to shape your dream body, weight training is the perfect tool.

Aside from helping you maintain your dream body, lifting weights comes with other great perks. This includes decreasing the risk of injury as well as lowering body fat. High levels of body fat can increase the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. That being said,  here are six more reasons as to why you need to add more weights to your 2019.

Weights can burn calories faster

While cardio workouts can burn more calories during a session, lifting weights burns more overall.

Following a weightlifting session, your body will be doing it’s best to bring itself back to a state of natural balance (homeostasis). As a result, the extra energy put into completing this task actually burns calories. Also, weights help to build muscle and this too burns more calories.

Functional fitness

When at the gym, it’s important to ensure that your muscles are developed and healthy enough to function outside the gym. This, then, is the importance of functional fitness.

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By lifting weights and strengthening your body, you’re actually making everyday tasks much easier to complete. Whether it’s carrying groceries or lifting your child, functional fitness through weights will help decrease the risk of back pain or a pulled back muscle.

Stress Relief

Few things help alleviate stress as well as exercise, particularly weights.

According to one meta-analysis published JAMA Psychiatry, weights can help to ease symptoms of depression. This stems from the release of endorphins that happens during an exercise session.

Muscle mass maintained

As we age, we start to lose muscle mass and this can cause a decrease in metabolism, muscle, and immunity strength. Strength training by using weights can help you maintain the health of your muscles, keeping them from wasting and withering away.

Stronger bones

Like muscle mass, the health of our bones can slowly deteriorate and with so many women suffering from osteoporosis, it’s important to maintain your bone health (1).

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It doesn’t help that levels of estrogen, which helps to maintain bone health, slowly decrease in postmenopausal women. Lifting weights can help to maintain bone mass, thus lowering the risk of osteoporosis.

Healthier heart

While your heart is working hard whilst you lift, you’re actually doing it as just service.

According to one study, lifting weights can help to protect heart health by lowering blood pressure. Another study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that weights reduce other risk factors such as high cholesterol and glucose levels.

With various studies citing how weight can help protect your heart, The American Heart Association concedes that strength training is a great way to maintain heart health (2).

Want to Know More?

If you’ve decided to do weight lifting as part of your fitness resolution for the year, then that’s great. Unfortunately, a lot of us can often fall behind in our wellness plans. If you are concerned about that, click here to find out how Jillian Michaels can help you maintain your fitness resolutions.

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer who has a passion for poetry, equality, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.