Is weightlifting healthy? What effects will it have on my health?

Oh hell yes. Weightlifting—or more specifically getting strong and building muscle*—is amazing for your health. It reduces your all-cause mortality (study), which means that it reduces your chance of dying from everything—heart attack, cancer, loneliness, polar bear**, etc. 

The study found that having higher amounts of muscle mass and strength improves blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, reduces triglycerides, improves insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels, and reduces the signs of aging. Part of this is because weightlifting improves cardiovascular / cardiorespiratory fitness, but even after that variable was controlled for, the added muscle mass and strength still significantly reduces your chances of dying from everything. This suggests that while cardio is certainly great for your health, for optimum health you’ll also want to be a strong dude.

This is the latest and greatest study, but these findings have been unanimously confirmed by dozens of studies, including these two: study, study. Hell, weightlifting is even being officially recommended by the American Heart Association (study) and the American College of Sports Medicine (study).

If that’s not enough to get you psyched to burly-up, it turns out that the “meathead” stereotype is actually dead backwards. Strenuous physical activity—like heavy weightlifting—stresses the brain and promotes adaptation and growth, improving brain function. Not only does weightlifting keep alive and healthy longer, it also improves your memory, concentration, mood and ability to learn (study).

*Building muscle is also a matter of nutrition, which is also strongly tied to health and longevity.
**We’re Canadian

Category: 5. Health & Wholesomeness

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