Lifting Weights is Key Factor in Overall Health

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Young sports womanOne of the key components of getting physically fit is to implement a program of lifting weights, no matter what your age. Research has shown that those people who have some kind of weightlifting program have better overall health and experience fewer health problems than people who don’t lift any weights.

Don’t let the thought of starting a weight training program scare you, even if you have never really lifted weights before.   Weightlifting is a great addition to other fitness programs that involve aerobic activity like running.

Weightlifting is an anaerobic activity, basically meaning an activity without oxygen. Anaerobic activities are more intense and burn carbohydrates for energy.  People on a Paleo diet, or any other low carb diet burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.

It is important to have a balance of aerobic and anaerobic activities and weightlifting is one of the better options for an anaerobic activity to complement a complete fitness plan.

So how does lifting weights help in your overall health? More and more studies have shown that people on a fitness regimen that includes weight training can reap the benefits of losing weight, increasing muscle mass, reducing cardiovascular risks, reducing cancer risks, controlling chronic health conditions like diabetes and arthritis, and increasing your life span.

It is now proven that people from all ages can benefit from a weight training program, and that includes senior citizens.  A weight training program can be modified for the elderly, but most older people who have started on a program of lifting have seen remarkable results in flexibility, stamina, and improved mood.

Develop a weight training program that will involve working your upper body on certain days and your lower body on other days, with one day out of a week used for recovery from weightlifting.  You don’t want to work the same muscles every day because they need time to rest and recover from the stress you have put on them.  Overexertion can result in muscle strains and other injuries.

Don’t forget to add some for of sit-ups for your abdominal muscles to keep your body balanced.  You can do sit-ups almost every day because you won’t be using heavy weights to strain them.

Here are some key guidelines for your lifting program:

 

  • Don’t forget to breathe during lifts – breathe out when lifting the weight
  • You can use barbells, dumbbells, or both
  • Make sure you have good posture
  • Have at least one day of rest a week with no lifting
  • Lift weights at least twice a week
  • If lifting heavier weights, make sure you have a partner
  • Perform a full range of motion in your lifts
  • Start with light weights that you can easily do 10 repetitions

 

Your upper body workout will involve muscles for your chest, shoulders, back, biceps, and triceps. The major muscles for the upper body workout are your key muscles and they include the pectorals for the chest, the deltoids for the shoulders, the trapezius and the latissimus dorsi for the back, the triceps and biceps for the arms.

The lower body muscles include the hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles. The hamstrings are the big muscles of the legs and consist of three muscles and are the muscles often injured in running activities.

Here is a quick list for exercises for the muscle groups:

For the chest – bench press, dumbbell flys,

For the back – seated cable rows, bar pull-downs, pull-ups

For the shoulders – lateral dumbbell raises, reverse flys, military press

For the hamstrings – dumbbell lunges, straight-leg deadlifts

For the quadriceps – squats, leg extensions, leg presses

For calves – heel raises

For biceps – dumbbell or barbell curls

For triceps – tricep presses and pushdowns

 

Starting a weightlifting program is one of the best things you can do to help you lead a more active and healthy life.  Start your program now and don’t forget to stretch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Responses to “Lifting Weights is Key Factor in Overall Health”

  1. Kris 2014-10-22

    I have noticed a big improvement in my energy level after i started lifting weights. I don’t lift very heavy weights, but heavy enough to give my muscles a good workout. I feel stronger than I felt before starting the lifting program.

    Reply
  2. Tim B 2014-10-22

    I agree that starting a weightlifting regimen can do wonders for your stamina and overall mood. I know I have a lot more energy when I am done with the workout, although sometimes it is hard to start. I have noticed that my strength has really improved and have been increasing the weight of the dumbells and barbells I lift.

    Reply
  3. Joe Rustin 2014-10-23

    I wonder about nagging injuries that you can get when you lift weights that are too heavy. I strained my shoulder muscle and now I can’t lift much except for very light weights. Should I just stop lifting for a few weeks?

    Reply
  4. Leslie 2014-11-6

    I am a long time lifter and although I am limited with old injuries, I try and keep a consistent workout schedule, even if I am lifting light weights. I like the articles on this site.

    Reply
  5. Carrie 2014-11-18

    I found this website while surfing and I have enjoyed the variety of articles. I used to teach aerobics and didn’t really lift weights until recently. I wish I wouldn’t have waited so long to start lifting. Personally, I set new goals for lifting every month so I can increase the number of pounds I use for different body parts.

    Reply

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