Why You Should Lift Weights and Strength Train

Most of us know that strength training is important, but that doesn't make it any easier to do it. It may help to know why strength training is so important and all the ways it can help you look better and feel better. Check out my favorite reasons to lift weights and get motivated to start strength training today.


It Helps You Lose Fat

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When you lift weights, you build lean muscle tissue which is more metabolically active than fat. When you increase your muscle, you also increase metabolism which means you're burning more calories throughout the day. Regular strength training is just as important as cardio exercise for losing fat and getting fit.


It Makes You Stronger

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It may seem obvious that lifting weights can make you stronger...but what some people forget is that it doesn't just make you strong for your workouts, it makes you stronger in other areas of your life as well.

When you lift weights on a regular basis, everything else becomes a little easier too - carrying groceries, housework, gardening, carrying the kids, etc.

Plus: Strength training doesn't just make your muscles stronger. It makes your bones stronger, too, which can help reduce or even manage osteoporosis.


It Reduces Your Risk of Injury

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The nice thing about strength training is that it strengthens everything, not just your muscles and bones. When you lift weights, you also strengthen connective tissue—the ligaments and tendons that keep your body moving well on a regular basis. Strengthening your connective tissue will help you continue to operate in peak condition and protect your body from injuries.


It Can Reduce Arthritis Pain

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Recent studies have shown that arthritis sufferers who lifted weights actually reduced their joint pain. By strengthening the muscles, they were able to cushion and protect the joints during impact activities like walking.

Plus: Most physical therapy programs incorporate strength training to help rehab a multitude of injuries. This is a good reminder that lifting weights can make a difference in your quality of life, whether or not you have a condition such as arthritis.


It Increases Balance, Stability, and Flexibility

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When we don't preserve muscle mass with strength training, what happens when we grow older? We lose muscle mass and that's often what leads to weight gain and loss of balance and flexibility. Lifting weights can help you work your joints through a full range of motion, keeping them strong and flexible and keeping you steady on your feet.


It Makes You Better at Sports

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Most athletes these days follow some type of strength training program to keep them strong and avoid injuries. Training specific to your sport can also help you improve your power, strength, and speed to make you a better athlete. Even kids and teens often benefit from some type of strength training when it comes to playing sports.


It Boosts Confidence

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According to some studies, both men and women feel better about themselves when they lift weights. By getting stronger and noticing changes over time like being able to lift more weight and do more exercises, both men and women build confidence and, especially for women, improve body image.

Lifting weights, along with other types of exercise, also helps build confidence and can even help manage symptoms of depression and anxiety...a great way to deal with stress in a healthy way.


It Lowers Blood Pressure

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Some studies have shown that regular strength training can help reduce high blood pressure over time, so this may become another way (aside from cardio exercise) to help treat high blood pressure in some people.

If you do have high blood pressure, I don't have to remind you that you should always talk to the doc before doing any new activities (but I am anyway). But, if you get the okay, consider starting a basic program along with other recommendations from your doc for helping reduce your blood pressure.


It Adds Challenge

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If you've been doing the same cardio workouts for a long time, that can get a little boring. Strength training is a great way to spice things up and add a completely different challenge to your body.

The nice thing about strength training is that it offers so many ways to set up your workouts...there's always something new to try and you never run out of new exercises, different types of resistance, new routines and a variety of ways to work your body.


It Makes Your Life Better

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One thing that often surprises people after they start lifting weights is how it trickles into other areas of their lives. I often get phone calls and emails from clients telling me how they were able to work in the garden without back pain or walk up the stairs without aching knees.

It's those little improvements that offer the greatest rewards and it doesn't take much time with weights to see and feel those kinds of improvements.

6 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Council on Exercise. The role of metabolism in reaching your goals and improving your fitness. October 2015.

  2. American Council on Exercise. How to convince your female clients that strength training is the key to losing weight and toning up. October 2014.

  3. Hurley M, Dickson K, Hallett R, et al. Exercise interventions and patient beliefs for people with hip, knee or hip and knee osteoarthritis: a mixed methods review. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;4:CD010842.  doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010842.pub2

  4. Faigenbaum AD, Myer GD. Resistance training among young athletes: safety, efficacy and injury prevention effects. Br J Sports Med. 2010;44(1):56-63. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2009.068098

  5. Cash TF, Smolak L, Editors. Body image: A Handbook of Science, Practice, and Prevention. Guilford Press. 2012.

  6. Lopes S, Mesquita-bastos J, Alves AJ, Ribeiro F. Exercise as a tool for hypertension and resistant hypertension management: current insights. Integr Blood Press Control. 2018;11:65-71.  doi:10.2147/IBPC.S136028

By Paige Waehner, CPT
Paige Waehner is a certified personal trainer, author of the "Guide to Become a Personal Trainer," and co-author of "The Buzz on Exercise & Fitness."