8 Reasons to Start Lifting Weights

Have you been thinking about adding resistance training to your exercise routine or want to start lifting heavy things in general? Below, we rounded up eight reasons everyone should start weightlifting.

1. Muscle takes up less space in your body than fat.
Muscle is denser than fat, which means it takes up less space in your body than fat does. Lifting weights will help you turn the fat in your body into muscle and thus the inches will fall right off.

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2. You’ll burn more calories.
Because after your strength workout your muscles need energy to repair their torn fibers, you burn more calories. Lifting weights not only increases the amount of calories you burn, but at a faster rate—even when you’re sitting down at your desk.

3. You’ll build stronger bones.
Strength exercises and strength training in general is thought to increase bone density, reducing the risk of fractures and breaks among older adults. Also, strength training can help prevent injuries in other sports or athletic pursuits, by helping correct muscle imbalances that in turn throw your form.

4. You don’t need a gym to lift weights.
Forget a gym membership. Strength and resistance training includes a whole host of options outside of what you’d find at the gym. If you don’t have a barbell or dumbbells, you can use body-weight exercises that require no equipment and work just as well at toning your body.

5. You’ll build endurance.
Want to run or swim faster and longer? Lift weights. Because you’ll be cultivating stronger, more powerful muscles your endurance will be increased tenfold.

6. It will make you happier.
Strength training has been linked to reduced anxiety and depression symptoms as well as improved self-esteem, and it may even give your brainpower a boost.

7. You’ll sleep better.
People who perform any type of regular physical activity — especially weightlifters — report the best uninterrupted sleep. In a small 2012 study in older men, researchers found that resistance training reduced the number of times the study participants woke up during the night, as compared to a control group who performed no exercise.

8. You’ll live longer.
While most forms of regular exercise can add years to your life, strength training in particular has big benefits on your life span. According to 2014 research from UCLA, as we get older, the more muscle mass we have, the less likely we are to die prematurely.

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