Resistance training not only hardens the muscle, but it sharpens the mind. It can give you better memory recall, increase your ability to learn, and I know for me, it clears my mind. It has been shown when people exercise there is an increase in BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) which increases your ability to learn new things.
Your proprioception also increases as you progress. You learn how your body operates in a given space. You can change up the exercises so much to continually challenge and strengthen your mind to handle any twists and turns that come your way.
Research has shown adding resistance training has been shown to be as effective as some medicine in lowering mild to moderate forms of depression. They aren’t quite sure as to why that is, but they think it might have something to do with the increases in dopamine, epinephrine, serotonin and all the other feel good hormones. When you are depressed the science shows your hippocampus (responsible for emotion) shrinks. Lifting weights will help grow the hippocampus which allows for a better mood overall.
It also gets rid of your distracted mind. Sometimes I’ll get rare, but moderate bouts of anxiety and all day it just clouds my mind. I can’t really focus on anything. When I get to the gym, it takes such focus, that I forget (even for just that moment) any worries I had and focus on the weights. Afterwards I feel a whole lot better.
Boosts Your Immunity
The person with more muscle burns more calories at rest than the person with less. Your muscles become more insulin sensitive and thus can optimize the carbs and fats you are putting inside your body. You become metabolically flexible. Not to mention, you create stronger bones which helps prevent osteoporosis, so that as you get older you are less privy to bad breaks from falls. A healthy, fit person always heals quicker than an unhealthy one.
Looking tone is really just having muscle without the extra fat. That’s what everyone truly wants when they say they want tone. You can’t get tone without added muscle. Otherwise you’d just be a smaller version of the higher body fat person you were before.
Aside from the aesthetic benefits, and bone benefits listed above, having extra muscle just makes life easier. Whether you are moving furniture, or just trying to keep up with your kids, having even just a little bit of extra muscle will never hinder your lifestyle. We need a certain level of fitness at all times to get through our daily needs.
We all want to eat more right? How great would eating extra calories for free be? Having extra muscle gives you that. It speeds up your metabolism necessitating the need for extra calories to keep up maintenance. Resistance training also just gives you energy period. A good workout leaves you feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle your day. An overly intense one leaves you exhausted.
Most pain these days is the result of poor movement patterns, or lack thereof throughout the day. If you don’t use it you lose it. Even worse, if you are, let’s say sitting all day, you are shortening certain muscles, not teaching them to fire properly, leaving you tight in the lower back or shoulders. There is no better way to address these issues than putting it under a proper load, and through a full range of motion to regroove the new pattern.