What are the benefits of exercise?

  • I am copying my answer from a previously asked question,

    First of all, lets face it: Putting everything else aside, life is EASIER when you’re strong. Carrying groceries? One trip. Children to carry? No problem. Car stuck in the snow? Push it out with ease.

    Whether you are 100lbs overweight or just trying to shed those last 15lbs, strength training is THE MOST effective way to burn fat and build muscles.

    (do you know pound by pound, lean muscle burns more calorie than fat?)

    But in addition to making life easier, strength training has a lot of great benefits right now. Here are just a few:

    1. Look Good Naked: Strength training helps you lose weight (and body fat) in a few different ways. First, it helps you retain the muscle you have while eating a calorie deficit and losing weight.

    Second, strength training has a much greater level of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption than aerobic exercise. What does this mean? When you finish a workout, your body needs to do a lot of work to replenish itself in order to bring itself back to a normal state (the way it was before you worked out). This takes a lot of energy, and some studies have shown that it can boost your metabolism for up to 38 hours after you finish your workout.

    Not only that, but strength training can help increase your metabolism by speeding up your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). This is because it takes your body more calories to maintain muscle than it does to maintain fat. Estimates are that for every 1 lb of muscle you gain, your RMR goes up 30-50 calories!

    1. Makes You Healthier: If you’re looking for a workout in which you get the biggest bang for your buck, strength training is it. Strength training increases bone density, builds a stronger heart, reduces your resting blood pressure, improves blood flow, halts muscle loss, helps control blood sugar, improves cholesterol levels, and improves your balance and coordination
    2. You’ll Feel Better: Not only will you find yourself with more energy and confidence, less stress and anxiety, and a better overall mood, but you’ll actually begin to think better (resistance training has been proven to help increase cognitive function). And while training too close to bedtime can be a bad idea, exercising earlier in the day has been proven to help prevent sleep apnea and insomnia.
    3. Preventing Disease and degenerative conditions : Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women; Strength training helps correct issues relating to cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and inactivity – all factors for heart disease. Cardiologists are even starting to recommend strength training for people who have suffered a heart attack as little as three weeks after the attack. Who knows, maybe one day your cardiologist will tell you to do some “cardio” and he’ll be referring to strength training!

    Now on the funnier side of it, here are some more benefits of strength training

    1. You get to flip your parents off: Lifting weights is great because it lets you overcome your genetic constraints. It doesn’t matter if your father was a Moscow circus dwarf and your mother was Ludmilla the juggling pinhead, you can still change your body with weights.

    Are you narrow shouldered? Spindly armed? Maybe your chest is so sunken that it makes emphysema patients look robust in comparison, or your legs look remarkably like that of certain waterfowl.

    None of it matters because you can use weights to sculpt any or all of those shortcomings into glorious, functional muscle.

    1. Weightlifting Gives Women Asses To Die For: Screw Helen of Troy. The face that launched a thousand ships? Phooey.

    Contrary to what non-training people think, a great ass isn’t formed by some lucky random distribution of fat, but muscle, and muscle is to an ass what the wooden frame is to a house – it gives it scintillating shape and structure.

    Building a great behind isn’t even that tricky because the harder you work it, the rounder and more appealing it gets. Just add in exercises like squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts, kettlebell swings, and Prowler drags a few times a week.

    3. Weightlifting Changes Your Relationship With Food: You gotta pity the normal people. For them food is nothing but pleasure. Their social activities are mostly based on feasting. Lunch and dinner aren’t biological necessities, they’re excuses for gastronomical Roman orgies, lacking only the sex and the purging. Eating is just something they do with friends. Birthday parties, tailgate parties, funerals! All just excuses to eat.

    And the type of food? It doesn’t matter to them. It’s all cotton candy – a rapidly evaporating sensation of taste and then… nothing.

    It changes, though, when you start lifting. Suddenly, food becomes emotionally satisfying and useful because you’re eating with a purpose. You start to think more like a Native American Indian in that you think about your food with almost a spiritual sense because you know that what you eat is going to become part of you, hopefully in the form of muscle.

    You become aware of types of protein, types of carbohydrate, and types of fat. You become aware of the quantity of food and how often you need it. And because food now has a purpose beyond recreation, you actually enjoy it more than the normal people who eat purely for pleasure.

    4. Demons Fear Metal: There inevitably comes a time in everyone’s life when the bad stuff comes. It could be in the form of the death of a loved one, unrequited love, or legal or financial trouble. No one is immune.

    Some handle the pain gracefully and heroically, realizing that time heals all and happiness, too, is inevitable. They seek solace through religion or spirituality, counseling, or the sturdy shoulders of good friends.

    But there’s one little-known therapy that’s remarkably effective and it’s good ol’ weight lifting. There are no ailments that iron can’t help cure. A hard, teeth gritting, grimacing, sweat-flying workout is the best therapy of all, and pushing something heavy so hard that it makes you cry out in pain is better than all the tears in the world.

    5. Weightlifting makes life easier: To guys like Jim Wendler, Dave Tate, and Amir Sapit, the world must seem like it’s made out of paper mache.

    Sorry ma, I accidentally ripped the door off dad’s safe while picking up a Jujyfruit.”

    While the vast majority of weightlifters will never attain that level of Hulk-ish strength, they’ll all get considerably stronger, oh yes they will, and physical strength makes life a lot easier. It’s downright useful to be able to move things, lift things, or unscrew things.

    Ask any guy who’s got a weightlifting wife and ask him if his life’s easier. You want to move a sleeper sofa or, I don’t know, erect a barn? You don’t have to wait until your Amish neighbors get home from the buggy races, you’ve got a strong wife who can tote that barge and lift that bale.

    And sometimes, the strength can actually save your life. You can probably imagine just as many scenarios as I can about how being able to bust open a door, dislodge a heavy object, or just grab onto somebody to immobilize them could be pretty useful.

    But the physical strengths pale next to the mental strength weightlifting gives you. It takes iron will to go to the gym several times a week and deliberately inflict pain on yourself.

    6. Weightlifting gives you satisfaction, EVERYDAY: In past millennia, humans were too busy – too challenged – to be worried about much of the stuff that bedevils us today. After hunting for food, fending off attacks from competing tribes or villages, and simply trying to survive each day, you went to sleep exhausted.

    You didn’t have modern day worries like job stability, finances, and your place in the world, or whether there’s someone in the world who’ll love you. Life was basic. Life was satisfying. Life was primal.

    Weightlifting brings a bit of the primal back. We need battles – we need challenges – to tie us back into nature, to tie us back into the primal way of life.

    Weightlifting allows us to be savage, to let go completely, to shut out all the noise and pit our bodies against a foe. By doing so, it provides meaning and purpose, two things that are prerequisites in pretty much any definition of a good life.

    7. Weightlifting Turns Wallflowers into Hellcats : I’ve never met a female weightlifter who was meek, timid, or shy. Oh, they may have started out that way, but once they were seduced by Mr. Iron, they gradually grew more and more confident in themselves.

    They became comfortable in their own skin. They no longer grimaced when they looked in the mirror. Nor do they feel the compulsion to dim the lights and run for the cover of the sheets when they take off their clothes so that you can’t see their body.

    Instead, they say, or at least act as if they’re saying, “Ay Papi, go ahead and look. Give your eyes some candy, because you don’t often see chicas that look this hot.”

    And if there’s something they still don’t like about their bodies, they fix it rather than crying into a pillow about the inequities of the universe and why-o-why aren’t they hot like Kate Upton, who, by the way, as a bikini model, could stand to get to the gym herself.

    and the list goes on…..

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