Estimated read time: 3 minutes.
I think it’s essential to not only tout the benefits of lifting weights/exercising to entice people to start, but It’s also crucial to remind folk who have been at this for a while of all the good it’s likely done them. The longer you exercise and train, the harder it is to remember what things were like before you did start, it can also help to remind yourself of these things when motivation is a bit low and things are seeming a bit bland.
With that in mind, I decided to put together a list of 5 things that have likely happened to you if you’ve been training for 5 years (or more, or less), some of the lesser trumpeted benefits of lifting.
Photo by Tom Hosking
One: Higher Energy Levels
To a lot of people before they start, the idea that if they already feel sluggish/tired reasonably often throughout a day and then adding in more stuff on top in the form of exercise would get them more energy seems totally illogical. We aren’t going into the biology of each way this improvement happens over time (it’s not that kind of blog, and there are far more articulate resources if you want to know about mitochondria) but speaking broadly, exercise improves the efficiency and working of most if not all the things that govern how peppy you feel through the day. Think about resting heart rate like when you get checked at your GP, if your heart can shift the same amount of blood about, with less total work, way more efficient!
Two: Increased bone density
This is a great one and usually goes under the radar since you really don’t have any day-to-day interactions determined by your bone density. However, if you’re resistance training, the action of your muscles contracting, as well as the external load, applies forces to your bones which then adapt and become stronger, and more resilient, thiccc. If you’re reading this like ‘cool, but why would I want thick bones?’ It makes injury to them less likely, which if you play sports, or even just generally as you age becomes much more important. Public health Scotland reported that in 2020/21 88% of unintentional injuries in people over 65 were due to falls. 21.7 per 1,000. Which is actually on the rise, and why I’m so keen on getting as many folks of any age into some sort of resistance training.
three: improved sense of wellbeing
It’s great to see a lot more exposure and people talking about mental health, and destigmatising talking and taking action on mental health topics. Training can help you along on your mental health journey in a big way. Alongside the hormones released post-exercise, even just the act of planning and participating in the self-improvement of training itself can be a mood booster. On top of that, a lot of people get a boost in self-confidence, from their change in appearance, all the cool new things their body can do, or both!
Photo by Tom Hosking
Four: decreased risk of injury
This one is another benefit, flying low under the radar. When you strengthen a joint and all the structures supporting it, it’s less likely to let you down. Whether you’re looking to keep playing your favourite sport, or just want to feel more robust in general, resistance training will get you there and keep you there. The likelihood that during your sport or just life in general, you’ll get injured doing something, is just far less if you’ve been participating in resistance training for a significant time, all your connective tissues are used to a bunch of forces being applied to them at a bunch of different ranges.
five: improved sleep
This isn’t to say that once you’ve been training a while you’ll somehow sleep like a baby every night, however with regular exercise, both resistance and cardio, there’s a really good chance that your average sleep patterns/amount will improve. This bleeds out into a lot of other aspects of your life, no one has a great time of things when their sleep isn’t great. It has also been shown to help manage insomnia in folks who have it.
Hopefully, some of those points were new to you, or maybe you’d just forgotten about them. Either way, if you’re interested in starting your training habit, or already train and would be curious to see how working with us might suit your needs better, please feel free to hit us up @atsapproved on the socials!