When was the last time you stood in front of the mirror and flexed your arms? No! I am not joking here. If you are someone who has never done this small activity, then do yourself a favor. Next time, when you stand in front of the mirror just roll up your sleeves and flex your right arm in front of the mirror.
If you are someone of average build (whether you are a man or woman), you will notice that you have some muscles around your arms. Are you aware that the average muscles in the human body does pack about 10 percent of the total muscles in your body?
Now just for a moment imagine all that muscle disappearing from your arm. What do you see? I am sure it will just be a mass of skin and tissues juggling down your shoulder. I know it’s not a pretty sight, but that’s what happens to each one of us if there is no muscle to support our body.
Now whatever little muscle you have right now will begin to reduce from the age group of 25-50 and the scary part is that it will double by the time you head towards sixty. Now, if you are just living for today then it should not worry you too much. However, if you are looking at being more productive in the years to come then it’s time to do something about it.
Now, you may ask “Why it is so important to develop muscles when being healthy is a big ask on its own, Satish?”. You know, as we age there is a natural erosion of muscle and strength which directly influences our ability to have strong bones & posture.
However, not everyone needs to accept this as a natural aging process. Each one of us can be strong and productive as we tend to age. So, if you are like me on the other side of 40s then, the best investment you can do right now is to sign up for some resistance training.
I have been lifting weights for more than 2 decades now and have seen its benefits from up close. Also, lifting weights regularly signals your body to fight to keep your muscles. So, it’s time to lift for being healthy rather than having bigger muscles. Some of the added benefits I can list out not necessarily in any order would be
It Will Help You Crank Your Metabolism
When you spend some time in the gym lifting weights one thing which is bound to happen is your calorie burn ratio. It is proven that lifting weights will burn about 20% more calories than not lifting.
Now this is gold because even if you at times indulge in over eating or drinking you can always negate the extra loading of calories through lifting weights. One of the biggest advantages when you work on your metabolism is that it not only helps you burn more calories but also ensures that you are high in energy through the day. This article by Rebekah Baumgardner Metabolism: Popular Myths And 9 EASY Ways To Rev It Up! is a brilliant read.
So, if you are someone who works for 12-14 hrs. everyday then, you cannot afford energy slumps. Lifting weights does help you to ensure that your metabolism along with your energy is regulated.
In fact, more than 50% of the C level executives whom I have interviewed with in the last 12 months for my upcoming book does go to the gym at least 3-4 times a week to do some resistance training. They do know that to sustain at the Top, they need to be in their best form both physically and emotionally.
Influences Your Emotional Well-Being
Over the last two decades, I have stepped into the gym many a time not in the best of the mood. I just like you carry my frustration, anger, disappointment and resentment from work to the gym and you will be happy to note that not a single time have I walked out with the same feelings.
So, what did happen in the 40-60 minutes’ time I spent in the gym was just pushing myself and feeling a sense of accomplishment from being fit and confident about myself. Also, the brain does release a burst of endorphins which is the natural feel-good hormones. You can refer this research article Resistance Training Improves Mental Health to know more.
Along with the physical accomplishment and a healthy post workout meal, it is bound to have an extremely strong influence on the emotional well-being. Now, who would not want to have this feeling day in and day out without being dependent on any medication or addictive substances?
You Will Burn Calorie Through The Day
Yes, you did read this right. The only exercise which does trigger calorie burn after you stop working out is Resistance Training. You will be surprised to hear that your body will burn calorie upto 12-15 hours after you exercise.
So, the biggest benefits according to me when it comes to resistance training is weight management. If you are in a job which does make you sit for more than 8-10 hrs. a day then, the only thing you can do to negate the weight addition is to do some resistance training and be active on your feet through the day. You can refer this brilliant article by Amby Burfoot.
If you are more inclined to doing cardiovascular exercise then remember that you will burn calories only during the time of exercise and the moment you stop doing the exercise calorie burn does stop.
So, if you are looking at maximum gains with minimum efforts then resistance training is the go-to exercise regimen for you. It does not matter if you are a man or a woman. The benefits are for everybody and do not get scared of putting on big muscles. It’s not as easy as it looks. What you see of professionals is the result of years of time spent in the gym with a right food intake which is beyond most of the people with a 10-12 Hr. schedule. You can refer my previous blog My All Time 25 Fitness Tips to help you hit the ground running.
You Will Become More Flexible
One of the most common grouse I do come across people with a sitting job is of not being flexible. It is a fact that humans after the age of 30 becomes 20-30 % less flexible and it only decreases as we get older.
Once you begin to lose flexibility, you are more prone to injuries and the recovery time is that much more longer. However, resistance training not only strengthens your bones and muscles but it also makes it more flexible. You can further refer this published article by Dr Soram Khalsa on benefits of flexibility.
You are working towards being more flexible not only with your muscles and bones but also with your mind. Yes, there is a direct impact on your expansion thinking when you begin to lift. You will begin to believe that the huge weights are just that and nothing else.
With consistency and focus, I have seen people lift some big weights in a couple of months. This has changed their way of thinking from the inside out for sure.
Have You Heard Of Fast Twitch Muscle?
Each one of us do have in us the fast twitch muscles (yes, both men & women). This is primarily responsible for generating strength and power. Most of the athletes swear by this for their performance. This video gives you a better insight.
However, each one of us do need this and we use this every day without batting an eyelid. However, aging does reduce the size of these muscles and something as simple as getting up from a chair will be a herculean task though.
So, to be able to do the simplest of tasks when you get old, you need to invest your time in the gym by working on the muscles which feeds the fast twitching muscle. Both depend on each other and eventually works in tandem when you do the daily tasks.
Your Insulin Gets Regulated
India is the diabetes capital of the world and we are genetically prone more to suffer from cardiovascular and diabetes related diseases. Sadly, this does happen to people in the prime of their life which is in the age of 30-40 when you have put in the hard work and looking at sustaining the growth in your profession or business.
When ill health plagues you, then there is nothing much you can do other than switch to a healthy living and resistance training which does play an important role in reversing/negating both these top 2 diseases amongst Indians.
Yes, your body regulates blood sugar naturally and you do not have to depend on any external medicine after some time. However, that I will leave your family physician to advise you on doing it. Meanwhile this article by Dr Mercola Pumping Iron Can cut your Diabetes risk is a good read.
Till then, the time you spend in the gym will be its worth in gold. There is no two ways about it and you will thank me sooner than later by just keeping at resistance training for 2-3 months consistently.
It Will Strengthen Your Bones
Natural process of aging leads to loss of bone mass. If you are not aware, we Indians are bestowed with brittle bones and the only way we can reverse this is by resistance training. When you step into the gym and do spend some time doing resistance training, you are bound to do exercises which not only strengthen your muscles but also your bones.
This is one of the most effective and natural ways of strengthening the bones in the human body and it also gives you a good complexion to your own body. I do not know this but in my case, people always get my age 5-8 years younger. This video will give you some additional insights.
I am not saying that resistance training is the only reason but I am sure that it is one of the reasons. The glow from the inside I get when I walk after doing a round of resistance training is something to experience rather than read.
So, step out now and experience all this by just signing up for a gym near you. However, if you still are not sure how to go about this then just click on the link below to sign up for a
with me and by the end of it I will guarantee the following
- Identity the area of your challenge
- Get a new perspective on your action steps
- Get a clear road map to achieve your professional & personal goals.
If you are an executive in an organization and are looking at “Employee Transformation” then you will be glad to hear that I do “Strategic Intervention” personally for your core team. By the end of this intervention your team will be able to
- Work on their Stretched Goals with absolute clarity and focus
- Double or even triple their productivity, by developing laser-like focus
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Thank you for reading my post. I regularly write about Leadership, Peak Performance, and Health & Wellness.