Lift Weights, Reap Hefty Benefits

Strength training provides health benefits that aerobic workouts can't
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 21, 2008 7:45 PM CST
Exercisers of all types are reconsidering weights for benefits not achieved with conventional aerobic workouts.   (Index Open)
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(Newser) – Pumping iron has long been known to improve strength and prevent injury, but evidence increasingly points to a wide range of other benefits, writes Judy Foreman in the Boston Globe. The findings—decreased heart disease and neck pain, improved metabolism and balance—are driving groups such as the American Heart Association to bump weight training to the forefront.

Weight lifting builds muscle mass, which aerobic exercise does not. More mass means faster calorie burning, even at rest. Plus, unlike aerobic workouts, it increases blood pressure “only minimally,” writes Foreman—and only has to be done twice a week to get results. Though the training may not always be fun, Foreman says, “I need it. I’m guessing you do, too.”