Why Do Experts Say We Should Lift Weights?
If you want to up your odds of living a longer, healthier life, you might want to consider lifting weights as an abundance of research points to its positive affects on the body.
The NHS already recommends that people should try and do two sessions or more of muscle strengthening exercises a week, which includes lifting weights, cycling and yoga.
It helps with weight loss
Personal trainers often recommend weight training alongside cardio because it can help burn extra calories.
Although a weight-training workout doesn't typically burn as many calories as a cardio workout, it can build muscle which can help boost resting metabolism.
Research has shown that you burn more calories in the hours following a weight training session, with a 2002 University of Wisconsin study showing resting metabolism staying elevated for up to 38 hours.
It improves cardiovascular health
Lifting weights for less than an hour each week slashes your stroke and heart attack by around 70 per cent, according to research by Iowa State University in 2018.
Experts also say carrying heavy shopping or digging for the same amount of time offers the same benefit after analysing the link between resistance exercise and cardiovascular disease in nearly 13,000 adults.
They found pumping iron cuts the chances of developing metabolic syndrome - the umbrella term for high blood pressure, high blood sugar and excess body fat around the waist
It could prevent diabetes
People who lift weights don't just tone up their arms - they also have a lower risk of diseases such as diabetes, scientists say.
A team from the University of North Florida looked at more than 5,000 adults in the US who had been asked if they lifted weights.
They compared the responses to blood samples taken from the participants, to see if there was an association with metabolic syndrome.
People with at least three out of five risk factors are considered to have metabolic syndrome.
The researchers found people who lifted weights were 37 per cent less likely to suffer from the condition, and therefore were at less risk of diabetes and heart disease.
It improves muscles in the elderly
Experts say that it's never too late to take up muscle-building workouts - and may even be most important for older people to work on strength training than it is for younger ones.
Nearly half of retired Americans have weak grip strength, which impairs their independence and even raises the risks of dying early by more than 50 percent, a University of Michigan study revealed in 2018.