I started playing sports in high school because I felt fat and wanted more energy. It ignited my love for working out and turned my career into helping others feel healthy and look toned through fitness as a personal trainer.
We have many reasons we start working out and with New Year's right around the corner it's when people recommit themselves to their health and fitness. They want to lose weight, be in better shape, have more energy, and fit better into their clothes.
I applaud dedicating time to improving your health and it's never too late to start.
Here are 5 reasons why your new workouts should also include lifting weights,
1. It Will Transform Your Mind
When I first started lifting weights in college I had no clue what I was doing. I just knew that all the running and swimming that I was doing wasn't getting me the toned body I wanted. I had to do something differently.
Regular exercise is a catalyst for people to get other parts of their lives in order. They start becoming more productive, eat healthier, sleep better, and have more energy on top of seeing the changes in the mirror.
Their mindset and identity starts to shift as well.
We all have a story that we tell ourselves about who we are in relation to the world.
When you're struggling with your weight and the scale isn't moving as fast as you want to you tell yourself that you have a slow metabolism.
When the only time you have to work out is early in the morning before work your excuse becomes I just can't get myself up that early to workout.
You tell yourself you can never be that disciplined with your diet or you really want to be lean but you just can't give up carbs.
Your reasons and excuses separate yourself from people who are in shape because you feel they must have more willpower than you.
But it is these negative statements and limiting beliefs form your identity and brought to you to where you are right now.
So what happens when you make lifting weights a habit and you go to the gym?
You start saying that you're someone who exercises and takes care of yourself.
You tell yourself you're working harder on becoming stronger and healthier everyday.
You eat more vegetables, watch your stress level, make sure to get your 8 hours of sleep, and get enough water.
Your behavior and habits shift to reflect that of someone who is already healthy and fit and you become that new person.
Lifting weights transforms your mindset into that of someone who is healthier, positive, and in better health. This shift is what transforms you into a different person.
2. It Will Boost Your Confidence
Lifting weights will help you build confidence in all areas of your life.
People who are confident are linked with higher incomes and having more desirable characteristics as potential mates. On the dating market they are more attractive than others who do not lift weights.
Strength training gives you confidence in your capabilities. You walk down the street possessing a more confident posture and you carry yourself with control and competence.
This is a big one for me because as a woman I want to know that I will be able to handle myself in any situation. When I exude a confident posture and a can do attitude I feel safer walking in public.
With the extra confidence you also create more opportunities to build great relationships and attract people you want to meet increasing your career options. You seek events and gatherings to meet new people because you believe you have value to offer.
When you believe in yourself and hold yourself in a higher esteem you're more likely to put yourself out there in social situations. Making new friends and contacts leads to a rich life full of new adventures and experiences that you would have missed out of if you didn't go out to new events.
Having confidence in yourself positively impacts all areas of your life.
3. You Will Have Extra Leeway in Your Diet
I love to eat and being a foodie in San Francisco there is never a shortage of trendy food fads every year, from lemon ricotta pancakes, croissant doughnuts, to delicious ramen. The hardest part is deciding what to try first.
Eating good food is one of the many pleasures in life. Unfortunately, excessive indulgence reflects negatively on your waistlines and wallets due future health related costs.
The average person unknowingly gains about 3-5 pounds every year.
We tend to become more sedentary as we get older due work, excessive media consumption, and modern convenience. This causes a slow deterioration of our muscles which make it even harder to get moving in the first place.
Our metabolism slows down because we are moving less yet we are eating the same amount of food or more which leads to weight gain. It's no wonder we get heavier each year.
In addition, phone delivery apps make restaurant food easily accessible so we order food instead of cooking at home. Without completely knowing what we are putting into our mouths, we don't see how many calories are hidden in those restaurant foods.
When you lift weights not only do you maintain your muscle mass but you also build more muscle which leads to burning more calories at rest.
Every time you pick up something heavy your entire body needs to gather resources to lift it then recover from the effort. Put in 30 minutes a day, 3X a week of heavy lifting and your body is using up a lot of calories to lift weights.
Lifting daily gives you a little more leeway in your diet for an extra slice of cake or another serving of your favorite dish without adding to your waistline.
4. You Can Combat the Middle Age Symptoms and Grow Old Gracefully
Getting older is an inevitable part of life but that doesn't mean it has to be all downhill from there. We have the opportunity to improve ourselves and to grow physically and mentally stronger everyday.
The typical middle age person can be spotted a mile way. They're walking down the street carrying a lot of extra in the middle, hunched over and looking down at their phone walking without a purpose.
Strength training can combat those middle ager symptoms and transform you into a younger person. Not only does it help you preserve muscle and prevent excess fat but it builds postural muscles to help you stand up straight so you don't slouch over.
After analyzing the top regrets of dying patients and developing close relationships with them in their final weeks, palliative nurse Bronnie Ware concluded that "health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it."
Lifting helps you age gracefully. It gives you the strength and ability to take care of yourself for years to come and to remain independent longer by keeping you out of the retirement home.
Having healthy muscles gives you the ability to get up and down the stairs with ease. You are able to pick things up without hurting your back and get up easily if you fall or even catch yourself before you hit the ground.
When you have this freedom called health you instantly have a better quality of life.
5. You Become More Resilient
The difference between people who are successful versus people who are not is in their ability to persist and be resilient in the face of challenges and obstacles.
In strength training the only obstacle you face is being able to pick up that weight. There will be days where it's a struggle to lift and days where you do it with ease.
Eventually when you keep practicing and putting in the time lifting will become easier as you gradually get stronger. Your repeated attempts add up to something bigger and you'll be able to lift something heavier than when you first started.
When you keep coming back to the gym to keep training you're not only building discipline and resilience in the gym but you build resilience for the real world.
Every challenge and obstacle you face in life becomes manageable because you've proved to yourself you can get through every workout no matter how challenging. And if you can get through a hard workout then that mindset tells you that you can get through any problem or challenge you have in life.
Lifting transformed you to be physically and mentally stronger.
There is no obstacle you cannot overcome in life because you have prepared by practicing for it in the gym.