Benefits of Weight Training

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Exercise. We all know that exercise is important. We also all have our favorite forms of exercise. Whether it’s yoga, running, hiking, swimming, Crossfit, Pilates, or Zumba – we all have something we prefer to do if given the choice. And let’s be honest – as long as we are moving and exercising great, right? Right!

With that said there are some forms of exercise that may be more beneficial then others. One such form of exercise is weight training.

But, Weight Training Isn’t For Me.

For some reason there are a lot of stigmas surrounding the idea of weight training. The first big on you hear is that weight training will make you bulky. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Just because one simply add’s in weight training into their routine does not mean they will bulk up – this is a big fear for many women who simply want to have lean muscle mass. Weight training does not mean bulk if you don’t want it to.

The other stigma is that weight training is only for advanced athletes. Many might think that they are too new to exercise and will just stick to the treadmill. Others will think they aren’t strong enough to weight train. These are both false.  You are never too new or to weak to weight train. Start out slow and small and build from there, or if you are afraid, find a trainer to help you along your way – you’ll be surprised with what your body is capable of. 

So now you know that you can infact start weight training… we turn to the why?

What Benefits Are There to Weight T weight train?

When you weight train the obvious answer of what it can help your body with is strength… but there is more to it then that.

Here are just a few of the benefits you’ll get from weight training:

  1. Increase Muscle Mass: While it’s obvious it still needs to be stated. Weight training will increase your strength and muscle mass and who doesn’t want things to be a bit easier as you try to take in every bag of groceries from the car. Plus all that increased muscle mass leads us to our next benefit…
  2. Weight Loss: Not only does weight training help you lose weight, but it helps you keep it off! All that lean muscle will help replace that fat. Plus weight training helps increase the amount of calories you burn not only during exercise, but also when you are not exercising throughout the rest of your day.
  3. Bone Health: As we age our bone density starts to decrease. Adding in strength training helps keep that bone density up as well as can help reduce risk of osteoporosis and other chronic conditions.
  4. Less Injury: Weight training helps strengthen connective tissue, muscles, and tendons. With that increases strength you are led to improved motor performance and your risk of injury (during exercise or daily activities) decreases.
  5. Confidence: When you start to weight train you will notice as you get stronger you and your body will start to gain confidence. Who doesn’t want more confidence?

Weight training can drastically improve your health – so what’s stopping you? Make weight training part of your routine and start to see all the amazing changes that take place!

Sources:
http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/5-benefits-of-weight-training
http://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/add-strength-training-to-your-workout.aspx
http://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/exercise/weight_training/benefits.htm
http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1008208-13-benefits-weightlifting-one-tells/#slide=3

20 Benefits of Eating Paleo

There are many times as a Paleo eater that I’ll get asked “why Paleo?”, to which I will usually reply with a generic “it makes me feel better” or “it keeps me healthy”. Most people this is all the answer they want, but others want more. Why do we choose to eat this way? What are the benefits of eating Paleo? There are quite a few benefits, but let’s start with these 20.

1. Puts a Stop to Junk Food
In one swoop, starting the Paleo diet puts a stop to junk food. It’s not about how much sugar is in your favorite treat, or how many calories it has… if it’s junk, it doesn’t go in your body. Putting a stop to junk food for good improves your health and well-being dramatically. Plus putting a stop to that junk food puts a stop to spending money on food that does nothing for your body. Take that cash you save and put it towards real food… or a new pair of shoes.

2. Balances Blood Glucose Levels
This is a big one for most Paleo eaters… it’s the basic science behind this new (or old) way of eating. Avoid those refined sugars helps you to easily avoid spikes in your blood glucose levels, which helps lessen fatigue and can help with weight loss. 

3. Keeps You Away from Wheat and Gluten
Now a days, due to many studies coming out suggesting gluten is problematic for the digestive system, many people are starting to go gluten-free. Luckily with the Paleo diet it basically includes a gluten-free lifestyle as well. Cutting out gluten can help keep your digestion system healthy and going strong. 

4. No Counting Required
How many times have you started a diet or eating style only to get tired of all the counting? From calories or points or what ever else you may be having to count it can be exhausting and hard to keep up. The Paleo diet is simple and easy to follow – as long as you are eating real and healthy foods that fall under the Paleo diet then you are good to go. 

5. Helps You Feel Fuller Longer
One issue many have with other diets is the fact that they focus more on “how much” rather then “what”. This can lead to you still feeling hungry right after you’ve eaten… or make you hungry shortly after you’ve eaten. These hunger pains can lead to falling off the wagon or binge eating. With Paleo it allows you to focus on healthy foods and actually eating when you are hungry. Plus the focus on healthy fats, rich proteins, as well as vegetables helps you keep that full feeling and avoid food cravings. 

6. Increases Your Intake of Healthy Fats
Along with keeping you feeling fut all those healthy fats are just that – healthy. It is a hard concept for some people to understand in our day and age of “fat-free” food items, but our bodies really do need fats! Just the right kind of fats. Luckily going Paleo will include all those healthy fats that your body needs and that actually help you burn fat and lose weight. 

7. Lean Muscle Mass
Who doesn’t want to be strong? Luckily since the Paleo diet relies heavily on meat you will always be getting your fair amount of protein to feed those muscles. This leads to promoting a leaner physique and helps muscle growth if coupled with weightlifting. Who doesn’t want to be a lean, mean, fighting machine?

8. Avoids Processed Foods and Ingredients
Along with getting rid of junk food it helps get rid of all those hidden unhealthy foods. Many “health” foods these days carry along with them a lot of processed junk… Going Paleo helps you learn how to read labels and ingredients to really know what is good and what is bad. Avoiding processed foods help you stay away from GMO’s and other harmful substances that shouldn’t go into our bodies.

9.  Avoids Fast Food
Along the same lines of avoiding junk food you will also avoid fast food. The health benefits of not eating fast food alone are found in countless journals, studies, and articles across the board. For most of us it’s pretty common sense though… fast food is bad food and staying away from it automatically helps increase your health. 

10. Cuts our Empty Carbs and Calories
There are a lot of foods out there that are filled with nothing but empty carbs and bad calories. – one of the most common of these are drinks. Sports drinks, juices, soda, and energy drinks… all these beverages are filled with sugar and chemicals that are not good for our bodies. For many just cutting out these empty carb sources helps result in weight loss, feeling better, and better energy. With eating Paleo every carb and calorie you put into your body serves a purpose and helps your body in a positive way. 

11. Helps Prevent Diseases
It’s a pretty easy jump from avoiding toxins and junk food to preventing disease. Plus all the anti-inflammatory foods and antioxidants you will be eating help ward of and prevent many diseases. A more natural you is always going to be a healthier you when it comes to food.

12. Helps You Sleep Better
Who doesn’t want to sleep better each night? Paleo can help you achieve this. By cutting out those chemicals and additives found in many food sources these days actually helps your body release serotonin in your brain without being overridden by other chemicals found in bad foods, thus making your body get tired naturally and sleep better and deeper.

13. More Energy
Obviously with better sleep comes more energy, but combine that with Paleo approved foods that are balanced and filled with healthy nutrients and you will feel like the energizer bunny. Going Paleo means eating real foods whenever you are hungry which means you don’t run the risk of running low on fuel and will feel energized longer. 

 14. Reduced Bloat (and gas)
Eating Paleo means eating lots of natural and healthy fibers which can be a big help in decreasing that bloated feeling that many feel eating a regular or Western diet. Who doesn’t want to feel more comfortable and less bloated?

15. Provides Detoxing Effects
Overall the Paleo lifestyle provides a great detoxifying effect on the body. Saying goodbye to trans fat, MSG, caffeine, refined sugars, gluten, and more gives your body a rest all the while you are increasing antioxidants, fiber, and other important nutrients! Many people claim to feel lighter and more clear headed while eating Paleo too!

16. Increases Your Intake of Fruits and Vegetables
How often have you heard parents across the world say “eat your vegetables”. Of course when kids other options are all hyped up on processed sugars and ingredients it’s hard to have them get those fruits and vegetables in. Eating Paleo helps eliminate cravings for poor food options and you’ll soon find yourself loving those fruits and veggies.

17. Weight Loss
Many people with the New Year are focused on their new goals… which almost always includes weight loss. Going Paleo makes weight loss much more effortless. By simply switching the types of foods you eat you will notice that unhealthy weight  slipping off. When you shift your focus from having to lose weight and feeling guilty about the foods you’re eating, you’ll notice that eating becaomse fun again, making it easier to maintain. 

18. Brain Power
Paleo has a bit focus on foods that are willed with healthy omega 3 fatty acids which many people are lacking in these days. These omega 3 fatty acids are known to contain DHA which is not only great for your brain development but also good for your eyes and heart too!

19. Circle of Life
Going Paleo really tries to promote eating pasture-raised meats and eggs. This means that animals are truly able to roam in grass for their entire lives. This natural diet is great for the animals as well as helping to serve us with a long list of nutrients when we eat those animals. It’s the circle of life at its finest.

20. Keeps Things Simple
Probably one of my most favorite things about the Paleo diet is that it’s simple. Paleo makes it easy to make the right choices and not feel like your whole life revolves around food. Paleo helps you eat to live not the other way around. Eat real food. It’s just that simple.

 

So there you have it. 20 wonderful reasons why we should all be striving to eat Paleo. What would you add to the list?

 

Sources:
http://eatdrinkpaleo.com.au/paleo-benefits/
http://www.paleodietevolved.com/benefits-of-the-paleo-diet.html#.VKRTilWJNpA
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/11/paleo-goes-mainstream-cbs-news-reports.aspx
http://paleogrubs.com/paleo-benefits