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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Healthy Living: The Advantages of Weight Training

Healthy Living: The Advantages of Weight Training
Today's post is from contributor - Natasha Gelder. Natasha is a full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard abs. She believes exercising is a vital part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle and should not be seen as a chore.You can find her blog here http://natashajadegelder.wordpress.com/

It is common knowledge that cardiovascular workouts are an effective way to burn fat and ultimately lose weight. Many people feel that cardiovascular activity is the only way to lose weight quickly and, for this reason, tend to stick to the treadmills and rowing machines rather than trying out any other form of gym equipment.

Another effective way to burn fat, which tends to surprise people, is weight training. Many people overlook weight training and decide against using it in their workout regimes because they just assume it cannot aid them in terms of their weight loss goals but only in building muscle afterwards. Women in particular seem to shy away from weights as they believe that using them will give them a bulky ‘manly’ shape. However, male and female bodies are designed differently and it is not physically possible for a woman, without the use of steroids, to develop huge Arnold Schwarzenegger style biceps.

Contrary to popular belief, weight training can help you to lose weight; undertaking regular resistance training has been proven to increase an individual’s Basal Metabolic rate by up to 15% meaning that your muscles continue to work when you have finished training, resulting in your body burning calories as you shower, sleep and even as you watch television.

Weight training has advantages and benefits in all areas of health: just two short sessions of weight training a week is enough to ensure that the musculoskeletal system is strengthened, meaning that muscles and ligaments will become stronger and there will be less chance of you pulling a muscle or developing a serious injury during exercise. Two sessions a week is also enough to see a dramatic increase in bone mineral density, this means you will have a decreased chance of bone deterioration in later life and are less likely to suffer from bone related illnesses such as osteoporosis.

Other health benefits of weight training include positive effects on insulin resistance, blood pressure and gastrointestinal transit time. It also has positive effects on factors which have been scientifically linked to illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Many studies conducted into the effects of weight training provide evidence to show that weight training is good for the body internally as well as externally.
The energy that weight training provides us with leads to an increase in stamina both physically and mentally. When undertaking physical activity our minds are allowed time to rest, this gives our brains time to rejuvenate themselves which results in improved intellectual capacity, meaning that both our levels of mental stimulation and productivity become increased.

As with any form of exercise, weight training releases endorphins which help to control and combat any feelings of depression or anxiety that you may be feeling. Claims have been made that weight training particularly helps to decrease levels of stress whilst simultaneously increasing an individual’s feeling of self-worth.

All the above health benefits can be yours at the cost of just two 20 minute workouts per week; ensure that you use all your muscle groups in order to maximise your results and see a greater decrease in body fat and a dramatic increase in lean muscle and happiness.

Natasha Gelder, full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard abs. 
 You can find her blog here http://natashajadegelder.wordpress.com/