Exercising, by practicing yoga, running, walking, or enjoying other activities like kayaking or hiking are obviously good for the body. However, you might wonder if weight lifting would be a positive addition to your current regimen or would cause you harm. While everyone is different and it’s a good idea to get approval from a doctor before beginning any serious weight lifting regimen, the following will outline the basic pros and cons of the issue, allowing you to make an educated decision on the matter. Of course, adding new gym apparel like good quality leggings to your current exercise apparel is a no brainer. Now on to the topic at hand:
Pros & Cons of Weightlifting
There are many benefits of adding weight training to your current exercise regime. A few of the most notable are listed below:
- It makes your body stronger. When you focus on building muscle through focused weight training, your body becomes stronger, making even everyday tasks easier.
- Building muscle improves metabolism. According to many experts, muscle works harder than fat in terms of burning calories when your body isn’t in the middle of a workout. In other words, by having more muscle, you will force your body to burn more calories even when it's at rest.
- It can provide some stress-relieving opportunities. Not only does lifting weights present a challenge that often demands renewed mental focus, but weight lifting can also give you an outlet for unresolved stress. Lifting a huge weight takes all the effort your body has and that stress built up inside is released when you heft that weight above your head or push it off your chest.
- It helps your bone density. After the age of 30, we all lose bone density, a small percentage each year. Over time, this can really add up to some brittle bones. Thankfully, weight resistance training has been proven to strengthen bones by creating a force that requires the bones to work to counteract or endure. Therefore, weight training can be an effective way to reduce the loss of bone density due to aging.
Although all the positive characteristics listed above showcasing the benefits of weight lifting are true, it isn’t without risk. In fact, for some people, weight lifting simply isn’t a good idea for the following reasons:
- It can reduce your flexibility. Weight lifting can cause your muscles to shorten and grow in size, which in turn reduces your overall flexibility.
- Can cause weight gain. At least at the beginning of the process, if you add heavy lifting to your regular workout as a way to lose fat, the muscle you gain can actually outpace your fat loss. This means you can gain weight and mass for a time when beginning a weight lifting regimen. If your primary goal is weight loss or fat reduction, you need to know this is a possibility. One way to counteract this is lifting lighter weights at more reps, instead of fewer reps with heavy weights. You also have to be super aware of your diet to ensure you are eating enough lean protein.
- You can injure yourself pretty easily when lifting heavy weights. This often happens if you get a little overeager and lift too heavy too quickly. Injuries could include stress fractures, pulled muscles, and more. Ideally, you want to increase the weight you’re lifting gradually, not all at once.
Weight lifting is a great idea for some people and not so great for others. Only you can determine if it’s right for you. Hopefully, the pros and cons list above will help you make the best decision.