Fitness

7 Ways Resistance Training Is Good For You & 2 Ways It Isn’t

Lifting weights is good for (almost) everything.

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Boost Your Immune System

Resistance training can improve your immune health, says Blink Fitness personal trainer and fitness manager Ellen Thompson. "Lifting weights releases serum cortisol and epinephrine, which are key players in regulating the immune system," she explains.

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Live Longer

Studies conclude that lifting weights regularly can help you live longer, says Katie Kollath, a certified personal trainer and co-founder of the LGBTQ women-owned online personal training business Barpath Fitness.

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Increase Mental Strength

"People learn how to push through discomfort and walk away knowing they completed a very hard task," Kollath tells Bustle. That sense of accomplishment and confidence can follow you throughout your day.

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Combat Depression And Anxiety

Exercise certainly isn't a "cure" for mental health issues, but lifting weights can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, Kollath says. Endorphin rushes and increased blood flow, plus all that confidence, can definitely boost your mood.

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Prevent Injury

Your dad might worry that lifting all those weights can put you at increased risk of getting hurt — but if you're doing it right, resistance training can help prevent injury by strengthening your muscles, bones, and improving your overall movement habits.

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Boost Your Body Awareness

"Hone your muscle-mind connection," Thompson encourages. The better you get to know your body through resistance training, the easier it will be to figure out what your body needs and when.

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Improve Your Bone Density

"As we age, our bone density begins to diminish, which can increase chances of bone fractures, breaks, and other injuries," Thompson says. Resistance training can dramatically slow the decline of your bone density, keeping your bones stronger, longer.

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It Can't "Fix" Your Mental Health

Yes, hitting the weights can kickstart your mood — but that doesn't mean that exercise is a magical fix-it. The cast you wear when you break your leg won't suddenly make your bones less broken, and working out won't "cure" your depression.

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It Can't Maximize Your Cardio

Alas, though resistance training is definitely something to add to your cardio routine, lifting weights won't typically improve your cardiovascular health beyond a certain point. You need more sustained movement for more intense endurance goals.

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