Ok, fess up; are you guilty of conveniently “skipping” the weight-training portion of your fitness workouts? Yes, those heavy dumbbells and complex gym machines can seem intimidating, but bulking up and building muscle gives you something to tone. The list of health benefits from adding muscle mass is also quite long.
Here are 4 good reasons that are sure to get you motivated for some heavy lifting.
PREVENT INJURY AND DISEASE
Did you know that skeletal muscles support your bones, tendons, and ligaments? The more muscle mass you build up, the stronger your bone density and connective tissues become, which can greatly reduce your risk of breaking a bone or tearing something internally. Among the diseases that can be prevented by bulking up are heart disease, sleep apnea, obesity, and even some cancers. Especially in women, osteoporosis can be combatted by keeping bone density and overall strength high.
GET A HEALTHY HEART
To maximize cardio workouts (not to mention have the physical strength to perform them), you will need a little meat on those bones. Using your muscles makes the heart work harder and increases your cardiovascular stamina and overall fitness, particularly over time. The more muscle you have behind your daily training efforts, Building Muscle Fitnessthe more you work your heart. In addition, studies show that weight training for bulking up can lower deadly heart attack risk factors, such as high cholesterol, blood pressure, and body fat.
IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE
Back pain is one of the most common medical ailments around, and those who get it know that it can literally have you on your back. A lot of back issues are caused by being hunched over a computer all day, slouching rather than standing up straight, and not keeping good overall posture – a lot of us are doing these. However, the more muscle mass you have on your body through bulking up, the stronger your core and back become, controlling your ability to stand up straight and tall and hold the pose.
Want to live to be 100? Better start pumping some iron! Studies show that skeletal muscle mass can be one of the key factors in living longer, ahead of blood pressure and cholesterol counts. While most people tend to get weaker in their old age, resistance weight training can counteract this to an extent. Increased muscle mass and continued strength training in some form can slow down the aging process and delay frailness, which is often the first sign of deteriorating health in one’s life.
PUMP IT UP!
Are you ready to add some lifting to your workouts? Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and increase your weight, sometimes. Some people fear getting “too big” and stick to light weights to “stay toned,” but this isn’t always ideal. Although you may be hesitant to add that extra plate to the barbell or graduate to a heavier dumbbell, bulking up could drastically improve your fitness – if you’re lucky, even your life.