The benefits of proper weight training
How can weight training improve your health?
- Increased bone density. Weight training can increase bone density, which in turn strengthens bones. Strong bones can help to prevent fractures and osteoporosis – a disease characterized by low bone mass and the structural deterioration of bone tissue. There is evidence to show that combining a proper diet with resistance training may help to reverse some of the bone loss associated with osteoporosis.
- Improved body composition. Weight training can decrease body fat, while increasing muscle mass. Add cardiovascular training and good nutritional practices to this activity and you're on your way to improving body composition.
- Increased metabolism. It is estimated that for every one-pound increase in muscle mass, your resting metabolism rises by 30 to 50 calories. That's good news for individuals trying to lose weight! By replacing five pounds of fat with five pounds of muscle tissue, you can increase your metabolism by up to 250 calories per day. With this change in muscle/fat composition, you could easily burn an additional 250 calories per day while sitting and watching the news. On the other hand, the loss of five pounds of muscle due to aging or inactivity means that your body is burning 250 fewer calories. (Please note, since each individual's metabolism is different, these numbers are estimates only.)
- Improved physical fitness. If you think that a weight lifting program is only for athletes or those individuals who frequent the beach, you're wrong! Who picks up your dog's twenty-five pound bag of food? Or, what about the grandmother who wants to be able to carry her grandson? Weight training can help people accomplish the activities of daily living with greater ease and comfort.
- Injury prevention. Keeping your muscles toned and strong can help prevent a host of injuries. When you work to improve the strength of your muscles, you are helping to ensure that your body is prepared to work a bit harder for those unexpected times when you're placed in an awkward position. Whether you're catching yourself from falling on the ice or reaching into your trunk to lift a heavy bag of groceries, stronger muscles will help keep you injury-free.
For questions on weight training, other sports medicine topics or to schedule a Free Injury Evaluation, call the Aurora Sports Medicine Hotline™ at 414-219-7776 or 800-219-7776.