When you think of weight-lifting, you may think of tan, muscular people in spandex standing in front of the mirror at the gym. But weight lifting is actually an exercise that can not only make your muscles look chiseled and defined, but give the whole body a boost of health. Here are 5 ways you didn’t know weight lifting can improve your daily health:

1. Boosts ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL’s)

If you didn’t know, the activities that you have to do to survive day to day – make food, clean house, walk the dog- have a title. They are activities of daily living (ADL’s), and lifting weights helps you to work harder and longer on these daily chores. Weight lifting means stronger muscles and more energy to get your work done during the day. So next time you say, ‘I don’t have time to go to gym,’ keep in mind that going to the gym gives you time to use. It’s a win-win situation.

2. Decreases risk of injury

Because weight lifting increases the strength of connective tissue in your muscles and tendons, it improves your overall motor performance. This means your muscles can handle the day-to-day procedures of, say, typing and folding laundry. This improved handling means less chance of repetitive motion injuries.

3. Improves quality of life

As you shape and tone your muscles, you also lose weight. Keeping your body in shape gives you a lot of confidence which then spreads to every part of your life. Physically, endorphins from working out also improves mood and increases your ability to handle physical and mental stress.

4. Increases muscle mass and decreases weight

Ever see someone who has great muscular legs and wonder how they got them? Well, it’s probably not just from running. Weight lifting increases muscle mass in a way that aerobic exercise does not. Not only will you have those muscular legs or arms, but you’ll also be increasing your metabolic rate even when you’re sitting at work, since muscle at rest still burns more calories than fat at rest.

5. Avoids increase in blood pressure

For some people with heart problems, aerobic exercise is problematic because it increases blood pressure. Weight lifting can be a great alternative for heart patients with benefits of exercise without the blood pressure issues.

Weight lifting doesn’t have to be complicated. Finding heavy things around the house can stand in for a long trip to the gym. Even if you have to make the trip to the gym, though, you can rest assured that the rest of your day is going to be so productive that the time spent comes back to you tenfold. Likewise, when you think about lifting weights, think about the health benefits you’re gaining inside and out.

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