Weightlifting can be practiced either as a sport or as a part of one’s exercise regime. It traditionally involves lifting barbells with plates. The practice of weightlifting as a measure of one’s masculinity, strength, vigor can be traced back to early Greek and Egyptian societies. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that it became a prominent international sport. Competitive weightlifting soon became a widely practiced sport with its advent in the 1896 Athens Games.
Weightlifting has been a part of the Olympic Games for many decades now, and in the Games hosted in Sydney in 2000, even women started participating in weightlifting championships.
Nowadays, weightlifting has reached new horizons with weight training becoming the new craze among gym-goers. The benefits of lifting heavy weights have proven to be highly visible in athletes and actors who weight train to fit into characters which requires them to have 6 packs. Following popular culture and social media feeds of popular Hollywood actors, women too, have taken well to weightlifting as a gym exercise in order to achieve the perfect toned body.
However, weightlifting is only advisable if done under the supervision of a trained and certified trainer and instructor. Otherwise, it might cause severe muscle tears which might be beyond recovery.
|Benefits of Weightlifting||Drawbacks of weightlifting|
|It is helpful in keeping bones healthy & strong||There are risks involved|
|It Prevents Diseases||Limits flexibility in the exercise|
|Significantly boosts metabolism and Aids in Fat Loss||Might Lead to reverse anorexia|
|It Lowers Inflammation and regulates Insulin Levels|
|Improves Energy Levels, Sleep, Mood, Posture|
|Results in the improvement of strength and endurance|
|It has proved to reduce the imbalance|
|Has Proven to boost one’s self-esteem and Confidence|
Advantages of Weightlifting
- It is helpful in keeping bones healthy and strong
Weightlifting has proven to help increase bone density. In recent years, there has been a significant amount of research in this field and after a lot of discussions and debates, it has finally been concluded that weightlifting indeed lowers the risk of osteoporosis, thereby keeping bones healthier and stronger.
It is highly advisable for healthy adults to include weight training into their fitness regime and practice lifting around 3 times a week. Just like the brain, the bones too benefit from staying challenged. In fact, weight training is even recommended to women after 30 as they make up 80% of the cases of osteoporosis.
- It Prevents Diseases
Recent studies have proven that there is a direct relationship between exercising and staving off life-threatening diseases like Type II Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and some even say cancer. Any form of exercise and especially weight training is meant to improve one’s overall strength and stamina, and, the stronger one is, the more resilient he or she is likely to be, to chronic illnesses and diseases and even mortality. Thus, weightlifting is good for one’s heart rate, brain, mental, and waistline.
- Significantly boosts metabolism and Aids in Fat Loss
If your workout routine consists only of cardio, you are most likely to hit a plateau and not improve further. That is when weight training or strength training as they call it, comes into play. It has a direct effect on your metabolism rate and helps you burn more calories, at the same time build muscle mass. While you are doing cardio, you are losing calories only while you are working out.
However, with weight training, you are burning calories even while you are resting. This is because strength training activates the tissues. Overall, weightlifting is a great choice for those who are looking to maintain their weight and change their body composition.
- It Lowers Inflammation and regulates Insulin Levels
Along with burning calories and building muscle mass, weight training also burns glucose. This is really helpful for those who are suffering from Type II Diabetes and other types of chronic diseases. Weight lifting helps regulate sugar levels in the blood. It also aids in lowering inflammation, thereby preventing many diseases. Researchers have proven that weight training for at least two times a week results in inflammation in women who are clinically obese.
- Improves Energy Levels, Sleep, Mood, Posture
Weight training has numerous health, aesthetic and psychological benefits. It has a direct effect on energy levels and is believed to release happy hormones. Weightlifting, just like any other form of exercise also helps with clarity of thought. It also helps to improve the quality of sleep and men and women who lift have proven to sleep without disturbance at night, without any hindrance.
- Results in the improvement of strength and endurance
Weight training improves your body’s overall strength and fitness, and once you start lifting you can see the benefits spill to other aspects of your health as well. If the calf muscles get stronger, it improves the amount of time you spend running on the treadmill, how long you hike, etc. Thus weight lifting has an overall positive effect on your strength and endurance.
In fact, running and weightlifting have a direct correlation. This was realized by the German athletic team early and they started including weight training in the exercise regimes of all their track and field athletes. The results obviously were excellent.
- It has proved to reduce the imbalance
With old age, is not uncommon for people to become frail and lose their balance. Weight training, in the slightly older population, too, has shown fantastic results. It has proven to provide them to improve their balance, improve their leg’s core strength are more. The muscle mass usually tends to wear off in one’s old age, however, with strength training, we can combat that.
Old people generally, tend to suffer a lot from great falls due to their imbalance. This results in many of them fracturing their hips and being bedridden ever since. All this can be curbed to some extent by introducing weight lifting at the right time.
- Has Proven to boost one’s self-esteem and Confidence
There is obviously an aesthetic benefit to lifting weights. This is the reason it has become the most obvious choice of work out for celebrities all over the world. It really helps transform one’s body structure. However, one must not go overboard with weight lifting and limit it to two or three times a week, or maximum, 4 times.
Drawbacks of Weight lifting
- There are risks involved
The most common disadvantage of weightlifting remains the risk of suffering from heavy injuries while lifting. This is why weightlifting should strictly be practiced under the supervision of a trainer. If a trainer is not around, then at least a companion is a must. Also, you must always wear supporting gear while lifting heavyweights.
- Limits flexibility in the exercise
Only weightlifting results in reducing the flexibility and agility of the body. This is why it is always advisable to of weight training with other forms of training like Pilates or aerobics.
- Might Lead to reverse anorexia
Bodybuilding and weight training is a positive thing only if it does not turn into an obsession. Often, people get so engulfed in it that they become obsessed with increasing their biceps inches. This health condition is termed as reverse anorexia and has lethal effects on one’s life. It starts with the patient giving up one’s friend circle, taking up weird diets, and craving for only protein in an effort to increase muscle mass.
Thus swimming is a great option for recreation as well as exercise purposes. It is extremely enjoyable and entertaining for people of all age groups. Though it has a few disadvantages, the benefits of swimming outweigh the disadvantages, by a huge margin. It has been proven that people can exercise in water for a longer time compared to land.
Thus, it is one of the most preferred forms of exercise for many athletes and celebrities. So, dive into a swimming pool in the next opportunity you get, however, just be careful about taking the required precautions!
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