“But I don’t lift heavy” This is a response I get quite often when I ask my clients if they’re working out. As to reassure me that they’re not doing anything harmful failing to realize that there are many health and physiological benefits from lifting weights.
I get it. Unfortunately, many people get met with a skeptical face and a message to stop when they tell their doctor (or physio) that they’re lifting weight. For years the belief has been that lifting heavy can be harmful for the body.
I am here to tell you: that lifting weights is good for you, and it is one of the best ways to keep a strong and healthy body!
Personally, I love strength training. It has been an important part of my training routine since I was introduced to it in my mid-twenties. From only doing loads of cardio (nothing bad about cardio, of course, I love that too), it opened up a new world to me. I suddenly got more results, I saw my body changing, and I felt strong and confident.
Over the years, both with my own experience and by increasing my knowledge through different courses, weight lifting, or strength training, has become a natural part of my work as well.
I am a big believer in movement as medicine, and lifting weights is a great way to build your muscles stronger and protect your joints from aging.
Very often people don’t even get injured in the gym. They pull a muscle when they are doing just normal everyday activities like bending to pick up something from the floor.
Most of us live very sedentary lives, therefore being active with training has become increasingly important.
Benefits from lifting weights:
- Important for our joint health! It’s the best way to protect our joints as we age, and it is also very important for those suffering from pain and stiffness due to degenerative changes in the joints. Use it or lose it!
- Increases bone density. This is important for when we get older and for women, in particular before and during menopause when our bone density reduces.
- Makes you more resilient to handle whatever stress life throws at you.
- Increases energy and makes you feel more awake during the day.
- Strong to do everyday activities like playing with your kids, lifting heavy groceries, etc.
- Prevention of aches and pains, like lower back pain, and neck and shoulder pain.
- Injury prevention and increased performance in sports, for runners or cyclists.
When I see clients who do strength training on a regular basis I always encourage them to continue. I believe strength training should always be part of a rehabilitation program.
Sometimes I will encourage clients to introduce more strength into their training routine. Sometimes we need to change the program for a bit, or switch some exercises with something else.
Sometimes they need more. Sometimes they need less. But I never tell them to stop!
And many times I will just tell them to do exactly what they are doing because it’s working!
The most important thing to remember when it comes to lifting weights, or any form of training really, is not to go too heavy, too fast, too soon!