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I love weight lifting. Not only does it improve the way your body looks, but it also makes you a stronger person, both physically and mentally. I also think it’s pretty fun! But there are actually a bunch of benefits that come along with weight training that aren’t as obvious. Read on to see what I mean…

Your Bones Will Thank You – Weight lifting is actually one of the very best ways to improve bone density, which helps prevent fractures and breaks – especially as you get older! It also helps lower your risk for osteoporosis.

More muscle = More Calories Burned – A pound of muscle at rest burns more calories than a pound of fat at rest. All the more reason to pick up those dumbbells and start working toward putting on some extra muscle!

You Become More Awesome – Weight training helps you become more fit. When you become more fit, your confidence gets a boost. When you become more fit and your confidence gets a boost, good things start happening for you, such as new opportunities with your career – and your love life improves, too. FYI – if you’re single, gyms can be a great place to meet new people. Just sayin’.

A Stronger Body Is a Less Injured One – Besides improving bone density, pumping iron strengthens connective tissue, tendons and, of course, muscles. So performing daily activities becomes safer (and easier!)

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Jeff is my favorite workout partner! He pushes himself to the max even on days that he’s tired or doesn’t feel like being in the gym.

It’s a Recipe for Happiness – Studies show that weight lifting raises endorphins, improves sleep, increases energy, works as a natural antidepressant and improves a person’s overall quality of life. True story!

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A photo taken one week after my first fitness competition in 2007!

Improvement with PCB (Posture, Coordination and Balance) – Losing your balance and breaking a hip or twisting your ankle is less likely to happen if weight lifting is a regular part of your life. Improvement with posture also means fewer backaches!

For Those With Arthritis – Studies show weight training can work like medicine when it comes to fighting arthritis pain. Reason being, more muscle means more support for your joints. Just be sure to talk to your doctor or physical therapist about which exercises to perform to help improve your particular situation.

For Those With Type 2 Diabetes – Studies show that the combination of making better food choices plus weight lifting can vastly help glucose control. Some people even reported that this dynamite combination licked their need for diabetes medication all together!

Here’s some more good news:

You can have great results with weight training only twice a week! Just be sure to really make that time in the gym count by lifting heavier rather than lighter weights (with the exception of one light set at the beginning to serve as a warm up!). A good goal is to choose weights that only allow you to complete 15 – 20 reps, with the last 3 or so reps being a challenge to complete.

• If you’re not comfortable with going to gyms, you have options! Ask a friend/spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend/coworker or family member to be your new workout partner. It makes the experience WAY more comfortable, fun and motivating. That other person greatly helps hold you accountable, too!

• LADIES: Cast away the fear of becoming too bulky or bodybuilder-ish by lifting weights. It’s VERY unlikely to happen. I’ve lifted heavy weights for 9 years now, and I’m lucky to have the wee biceps that I have! Unless you’re taking non-FDA approved performance enhancing supplements (aka steroids) or you’re incredibly genetically blessed, you will not become bulky by lifting weights. But if the idea of having a smaller waist, a rounder booty and firmer and leaner arms and legs sounds appealing, give weight lifting a shot!

• If you’re completely new to weight lifting and have no clue what to do or where to begin, it’s ok. Stick with weight lifting machines to start. Almost all of them have diagrams on them to show which body part you’re working when using that particular machine and how to perform the exercise. Switch off doing all upper body exercises one day and then lower body exercises the next. When you’re ready to step it up to using free weights, jump on fitness websites like Bodybuilding.com for sample workouts complete with step-by-step directions on how to complete each exercise. If you need more help, sign up to work with a trainer for one session just so they can show you the basics and teach proper form.

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• Don’t belong to a gym and still have no interest in joining one? No problem! Purchase a few sets of handheld weights and resistance bands to use at home. Heck, you can also include body weight exercises such as push ups, squats and crunches to build muscle. Set up a workout schedule for yourself, such as Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and vow to stick to it. Treat those planned workouts like appointments that you can’t cancel. Then, put together a motivating workout playlist loaded with high energy songs to blast during those workouts, and you’re good to go!

Please consult your doctor or medical professional before performing any exercises or trying any weight loss techniques shown or described on this website, as there may be personal medical or health considerations that only your doctor or health professional is competent to assess.

Filed under: Body Talk

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Dawn Lockett

Love your website and the whole crew Jeff and the boys and of all the videos of Jeff and the guys. I am going to be having the bariatric surgery hopefully in December and I need to exercise and eat right for which I am trying to do but sweets and carbs are my weakness I crave them I am doing my best to stay away from both. Exercising is a bit difficult as I have a bad back and arthritus in both my knees my left is the worst when it flares up. My husband encourages me to walk as we did yesterday walk to the rec center that is about 5 blocks each direction to check the facility out and to look at the new construction of the New swimming pool can’t wait for that as I can’t swim I love to do water exercises. I want to know what would be the best exercises for a bad back. I do plan on joining our local rec center to work out on the exercise machines.

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Audrey Dunham

Hi Dawn, as you already mentioned, swimming is by far one of the best exercises you can be doing with an injury. Exercise machines and resistance exercises are great, as well; just listen to your body and do the exercises that do not cause pain in your back. Please also check out my article called “Decrease your risk of lower back injuries in just 7 minutes!” in the “Body Talk” section of this site for other exercise ideas.

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