Lifting weights and bodybuilding have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more people focusing on physical fitness and wellness. This trend has been driven by a desire to improve health, build strength, and enhance physical appearance. The benefits of weightlifting extend beyond these traditional reasons, however, and include a range of surprising benefits that many people may not be aware of.
We will explore five surprising benefits of weightlifting that you may not have known about. These benefits include improved brain function, lower risk of chronic diseases, better sleep quality, increased bone density, and improved metabolism. By the end of this blog, you will have a better understanding of the many ways that weightlifting can benefit your overall health and wellbeing.
1. Improved Brain Function
Weightlifting has been found to improve brain function by promoting the growth of new brain cells and increasing blood flow to the brain. This increased blood flow delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the brain, which can enhance cognitive function.
Studies that supporting this claim:
Studies have shown that weightlifting can improve brain function in a variety of ways. For example, one study found that weightlifting can increase the size of the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. Other studies have found that weightlifting can improve executive function, which includes cognitive processes such as attention, planning, and decision-making.
Promotes cognitive flexibility and enhances mood:
Weightlifting has also been found to promote cognitive flexibility, which is the ability to switch between different tasks or ways of thinking. This can enhance problem-solving skills and creativity. Additionally, weightlifting has been found to enhance mood by promoting the release of endorphins, which are natural chemicals that can improve mood and reduce stress. By improving brain function and promoting cognitive flexibility and enhanced mood, weightlifting can have a positive impact on overall mental wellbeing.
2. Lower Risk of Chronic Diseases
Correlation between weightlifting and lower risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease:
Several studies have found that weightlifting can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. For example, a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that weightlifting can reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 40%. Another study found that weightlifting can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 34%.
Weightlifting can help regulate blood sugar and lower blood pressure:
One reason why weightlifting may reduce the risk of chronic diseases is that it can help regulate blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure. When you lift weights, your muscles require more energy, which can help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. Additionally, weightlifting can help lower blood pressure by increasing the size and elasticity of blood vessels, which can reduce the workload on the heart. By reducing the risk of chronic diseases, weightlifting can have a positive impact on overall health and longevity.
3. Better Sleep Quality
Weightlifting can improve sleep quality:
Weightlifting can improve sleep quality by reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, increasing the amount of deep sleep, and reducing the number of times you wake up during the night. When you lift weights, your body releases hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone, which can help promote restful sleep.
Correlation between weightlifting and better sleep:
Several studies have found that weightlifting can improve sleep quality. For example, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that weightlifting can improve sleep quality in adults with chronic insomnia. Another study found that weightlifting can improve sleep quality in older adults.
Reduce anxiety and depression, which are common causes of poor sleep quality:
Weightlifting has been found to be an effective way to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. When you lift weights, your body releases endorphins, which are natural chemicals that can improve mood and reduce stress. By reducing anxiety and depression, weightlifting can help promote better sleep quality. Additionally, weightlifting can help regulate the circadian rhythm, which is the body’s internal clock that regulates sleep and wake cycles. By promoting better sleep quality and reducing anxiety and depression, weightlifting can have a positive impact on overall mental wellbeing.
4. Increased Bone Density
Increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis:
Weightlifting can increase bone density by stimulating the bones to become stronger and more dense. As you lift weights, your bones experience microtrauma, which signals the body to build more bone tissue. This can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become weak and brittle and are more prone to fractures.
Studies that support this claim:
Several studies have found that weightlifting can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. For example, a study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that weightlifting can increase bone density in postmenopausal women. Another study found that weightlifting can increase bone density in men with low bone density.
Help prevent fractures and improve overall bone health:
By increasing bone density, weightlifting can help prevent fractures and improve overall bone health. This is particularly important for older adults, who are at a higher risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Additionally, weightlifting can improve balance and coordination, which can reduce the risk of falls and fractures. By increasing bone density and improving overall bone health, weightlifting can have a positive impact on physical health and longevity.
5. Improved Metabolism
Improve metabolism and aid in weight loss:
Weightlifting can improve metabolism by increasing muscle mass, which can help burn more calories at rest. Additionally, weightlifting can help reduce body fat, which can lead to a higher metabolic rate. This can aid in weight loss and weight management.
Correlation between weightlifting and improved metabolism:
Several studies have found that weightlifting can improve metabolism. For example, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that weightlifting can increase resting metabolic rate in men and women. Another study found that weightlifting can help increase muscle mass and reduce body fat in overweight and obese adults.
Help increase muscle mass and reduce body fat, which can lead to a higher metabolic rate:
Weightlifting can help increase muscle mass by providing a stimulus for the body to build new muscle tissue. This can help burn more calories at rest, since muscle tissue requires more energy to maintain than fat tissue. Additionally, weightlifting can help reduce body fat by burning calories during exercise and increasing the body’s ability to burn fat for energy. By increasing muscle mass and reducing body fat, weightlifting can improve metabolism and aid in weight loss and weight management.
Weightlifting can offer many surprising benefits, including improved brain function, lower risk of chronic diseases, better sleep quality, increased bone density, and improved metabolism. These benefits can have a significant impact on physical health, mental health, and overall well-being.
If you’re looking to improve your physical and mental health, weightlifting is a great way to achieve your goals. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced lifter, there are many different programs and exercises you can try to get started. By incorporating weightlifting into your fitness routine, you can enjoy the many benefits it offers and achieve your fitness goals. So why not give it a try and see what weightlifting can do for you?
- “Weightlifting for beginners” – Mayo Clinic – https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/weight-training/art-20045842
II. Improved Brain Function
- “Resistance exercise for cognitive-Affective improvement: A pilot study with overweight/obese older women” – Journal of Health Psychology – https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1359105319853792
- “Effects of resistance exercise on cognitive performance” – Journal of Aging Research – https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jar/2011/326519/
- “The effect of resistance exercise on cognitive function in the elderly” – Clinical Interventions in Aging – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6116029/
III. Lower Risk of Chronic Diseases
- “Resistance exercise training: its role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease” – Circulation – https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/01.cir.0000146893.67889.aa
- “Resistance Training in the Treatment of Diabetes and Obesity: Mechanisms and Outcomes” – Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention – https://journals.lww.com/jcrjournal/Abstract/2011/11000/Resistance_Training_in_the_Treatment_of_Diabetes.3.aspx
IV. Better Sleep Quality
- “Effects of Resistance Exercise on Sleep in Young Adults with Different Training Statuses” – Journal of Sport and Health Science – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254619300885
- “Exercise for the treatment of depression and anxiety” – International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice – https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13651501.2017.1417460
V. Increased Bone Density
- “Weight-bearing exercise and bone mineral accrual in children and adolescents: a review of controlled trials” – Bone – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S8756328203010401
- “The effects of resistance exercise on bone density in premenopausal women” – Osteoporosis International – https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s001980170108
VI. Improved Metabolism
- “Resistance training in overweight women on a ketogenic diet conserved lean body mass while reducing body fat” – Nutrition & Metabolism – https://nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12986-019-0366-8
- “Resting metabolic rate and weight loss” – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition – https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/82/1/41/4863422