Weight lifting, or weight training, is a form of exercise that stretches and strengthens the body using weights. Using weight machines or free weights, a person can strengthen one group of muscles at a time through a series of repeated exercises.
People who want to lose weight can begin slowly and work up to a program that includes aerobics, weight training, and stretching exercises. These exercises burn calories, strengthen muscles and bones, and help prevent injury. Each is important for overall health and well being.
Physical activity of any kind helps a person lose weight. It helps to tone and increase lean muscle as well. How much weight a person loses depends on several factors. These factors include: how often a person exerciseshow long each exercise session lastsa person's overall rate of metabolism, which is different in every personthe number of calories a person eats every dayhow overweight the person is when he or she starts exercising. Those who are the most overweight tend to show the most impressive benefits from exercise and weight training.
A total of 30 minutes of exercise at least three times a week is recommended for everyone. Weight lifting twice a week helps to make muscles and bones stronger. Adding two more periods of weight training each week will burn extra calories. This will help those trying to lose weight.
Dieting alone will help a person lose weight. But dieting together with an exercise program is much better for losing weight and keeping the weight off. With weight training, the body becomes stronger and a person is able to exercise for longer periods. Also, a person who follows a regular exercise routine is better able to burn fat.
A person doesn't need to own special equipment or belong to a fitness center in order to build strength. There are many strengthening exercises that can be done safely at home without the expensive weight machines that are usually found in fitness centers. There are a number of videos, books, and magazines that outline home weight training programs.
Some people may prefer to join a fitness center. They may find that they benefit from being in the company of others who are trying to lose weight and become stronger. Also, they have access to trainers who can help design an exercise program specific to their needs.
Weight training is a good addition to an exercise program, especially one designed to help a person lose weight, build strength, and improve health.
Physical Activity&Health, A Report of the Surgeon General, US Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. 1996
NIH Consensus Statement, Volume 13, Number 3, December 18-20, 1995, Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health
Physical Activity and Weight Control, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [NIDDK], NIH Publication No. 96-4031, April 1996