Beginning with the great Olympic champion, Milo of Crotona, who lived in Greece in the 6th century BC, who hoisted a baby bull on his shoulders to improve his strength. As the bull grew heavier, Milo improved his strength. Even back then, people were aware that lifting a weight would improve muscle tone and size, and consequently improve strength. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way in the sport of weight training. Although, I can’t see it being as popular as it is now if we still had to hoist bulls!
Why weight training?
One of the many remarkable properties of skeletal muscles is their adaptability. When a muscle is stressed, within a tolerable limit, it’ll adapt to improve its function. Even after a short time of lifting weights, we can see and feel changes in our muscles. The muscles experience hypertrophy and increase in size, plus increase in strength and endurance.
Increasing muscle strength isn’t the only benefit of weight training. The more research that’s done on weight training, particularly for women, the more benefits we can add to the list.
– Weight training tones your muscles, which not only improves their function but also has aesthetic appeal. Toned arms and shoulders are the best accessories for a sleeveless dress or top.
– Between the ages of 25 and 30, your resting metabolism declines. Weight training can reverse this, as muscle tissue requires more energy to function than fat.
– The more muscle you have, the less prone you become to the ‘middle-age spread’.
– Even at rest, your body burns more energy, making it easier to maintain your weight.
– Increased metabolism decreases gastrointestinal transit time, reducing the risk of developing colon cancer.
– Weight training and weight-bearing activities such as walking, running and push-ups, strengthen bones as well, substantially reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
– Weight training has a positive effect on almost all of your 650 muscles.
– Weight lifting decreases your risk of developing adult onset diabetes.
– Stronger trunk muscles improve your posture, making you less prone to back injuries.
– Strength training can improve the function of your immune system.
– Weight training using lighter weights and doing higher repetitions has aerobic benefits. As a result of weight training, your heart becomes more efficient, lowering your resting heart rate and reducing blood pressure.
– Weight training improves balance and co-ordination.
– Weight training increases your high density lipoproteins, reducing cholesterol levels.
– Weight training makes you stronger and gives you more confidence. You’ll also feel energised and enjoy all the emotive benefits of exercise.