3 reasons why resistance training is superior to any other form of exercise when it comes to overall health, and building an aesthetically pleasing body.
- Mental Health- Unlike other forms of exercise such as cardio, resistance training has been proven to not only strengthen your muscles, heart, bones and connective tissue, but lifting weights also increases the size of your brain in certain regions. There is a term known as neuroplasticity which is when the brain changes and creates new neural connections, weight training has been proven to promote neuroplasticity. Not to mention a recent study which demonstrated that resistance training improved symptoms of anxiety and low mood in individuals who were suffering with anxiety issues, aerobic exercise (cardio) didn’t have the same effect. However, both types of exercise had a positive effect mentally on healthy individuals, but only resistance training was proven to be equal or better than prescribed antidepressants. Check out this article to view the study report.
- Longevity and overall health- When it comes to overall health and longevity, resistance training is the only form of exercise which directly combats all aspects of ageing. Weight training when done appropriately, drastically improves bone density, strengthens the heart, improves strength, promotes healthy hormones, helps to reduce body fat and more. Once again, this is not to say cardiovascular training is bad, in fact aerobic exercise is obviously beneficial for our overall health when done appropriately, but lifting weights is the only type of exercise which reduces a type of fat which can build up around the heart known as pericardial fat. Check out this article for more info. Also people who have low levels of strength tend to die on average 50% sooner than there stronger counterparts according to this study.
- Building an aesthetically pleasing physique- When you do aerobic exercise ie cardio, you manually burn calories, where as when you lift weights and build muscle, your body has to automatically burn more calories just to keep that lean muscle tissue on your body. As a matter of fact, your metabolism is elevated for 1-3 days post lifting weights which is another reason why resistance training is superior to cardiovascular training for fat loss, long term. Not to mention, when you add muscle to your body in areas such as your bum muscles or shoulders, this will create an illusion and make your waist look smaller, even if your waist size was to stay the same. Check out this article on resistance training and fat loss.
Want to know more? Check out my latest podcast episode- Resistance training for fat loss, mental health and longevity.
For more information on neuroplasticity, check out this book: The brain that changes itself, by Norman Doige MD, fascinating read!