The debate over whether bodybuilding is healthy or not has raged on in the fitness world for decades, but we may finally have an answer to that question. Bodybuilding—the process of lifting weights to build strength and muscle mass—has shown time and again to be an incredibly healthy way to stay in shape and live a long life (when combined with the right diet). Read on to learn more about how bodybuilding can positively affect your fitness goals.
Exercise Helps You Stay in Shape
How many times have you heard someone say, Exercise is my drug? While it’s important to get enough sleep and watch your diet, research shows that exercise is absolutely critical to maintaining optimal health. In fact, regular physical activity can be as effective as some medications in fighting anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. Studies have also found that exercise can increase self-esteem and a sense of control over our lives and help people cope with daily stressors like family conflict or fatigue from work.
It Boosts Your Self-Esteem
One research study found that 83 percent of people who work out feel better about themselves. What’s more, 86 percent said they sleep better and 71 percent said they were more confident in their abilities to do things. And here’s something that probably won’t surprise you — nearly 90 percent reported having more energy than before they began working out.
Weightlifting Helps You Live Longer
Weightlifting can help you live longer. I’m not talking about your cholesterol or blood pressure levels here, but rather your life expectancy. A 10-year study out of Sweden that followed more than 13,000 adults found those who participated in moderate to vigorous exercise had a lower risk of dying over that time period than those who didn’t exercise at all. Being active at any level is beneficial, so don’t let an injury or other obstacles keep you from getting off your butt! You only have one body and it’s worth taking care of. Commit to good nutrition and plenty of sleep to keep you healthy and energized through even the most demanding workouts. Don’t forget some kind words from friends and family will help as well.
You Can Eat Whatever You Want If You Exercise
Losing weight isn’t as simple as exercise plus diet equals fat loss. If you don’t eat enough calories and nutrients, your body will go into starvation mode and think it needs to hold onto every ounce of energy possible. So, even if you hit your daily cardio goal and up your workouts, you might not lose weight—or you might gain it instead. Even worse? Your workout performance will suffer when your body thinks it doesn’t have enough food or nutrients.
Strength Training Increases Your Metabolism
Strength training gives your metabolism a boost because it causes your body to burn more calories in order to repair your muscles. In fact, muscle is metabolically active tissue. It needs calories even when you’re not working out! As you build muscle and increase lean body mass, your basal metabolic rate (BMR) will increase, which means that you’ll burn more calories on a daily basis. You’ll notice that your increased activity level aids in weight loss because you’ll find yourself burning fat as fuel at an accelerated pace.
It strengthens your bones and muscles, which prevents injuries
Bone density decreases naturally with age, but regular weight training can slow down or even reverse that process. With sufficient weight training, bones become stronger and more resistant to breaking. Weight-bearing exercises are one way to help boost bone strength and reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis, a disease in which your bones become weak and break easily. Examples include squats and pushups, which are considered essential exercises for building healthy muscles. If you’re already well into middle age, don’t despair: Weight training will help keep you strong as you age!
Women who lift weights lose more fat than women who don’t
Women who lift weights while following resistance training guidelines reduce more fat and gain more muscle than women who work out without weightlifting, according to findings presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting in Denver. Men lost significantly more fat and gained significantly more muscle if they worked out with weightlifting too. And not just any weightlifting, but specifically lifting weights designed to add bulk – like barbells or dumbbells – rather than those designed to tone muscles – like cable machines or stability balls. Lead researcher Anthony Luke, PhD, professor in nutritional sciences at Rutgers University-Newark suggests that women can lose an extra pound per month by adding heavy weightlifting sessions into their weekly exercise routines.
Motivation will help you reach your goals faster
Motivation can help you make rapid progress in your bodybuilding routine. Motivation comes from a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic motivation is from within yourself and comes from things like ambition, enjoyment, and drive. Extrinsic motivation stems from outside sources such as rewards or positive criticism. When you combine these two types of motivation with good nutrition, sleep habits, and an effective workout routine, you will be on your way to achieving great results in bodybuilding! In short, bodybuilding can be as healthy or unhealthy as you make it; have fun with it! Work hard at it but don’t forget to enjoy it! Make sure to get good nutrition on a daily basis so that your body will keep up with your workouts.
Exercising with friends keeps you motivated
When we exercise with friends, we tend to be more motivated. Our friends keep us accountable for our workout time and keep us on track to reach our fitness goals. Studies have found that people who exercise with their spouse or significant other have much higher rates of success than those who work out alone. If you don’t have anyone to work out with, join an online community such as Fitocracy (free) or SparkPeople (free). Those are two sites I use and both have built-in communities and chat tools where you can meet new people.