Lift Something Heavy
Most of my students are so surprised when they ask me about my own yoga practice and I tell them that what I mostly do to keep my body working for me is lift weights. I love yoga, but my practice is very different than what is being delivered in group classes. I mostly use my practice as a way to target and provide therapeutic treatment for specific areas of my body.
Since I began integrating weights into my fitness routine the changes have gone beyond just muscle function and strength. No, I don't have big, bulging muscles...I'm still a little soft around all my favorite edges :) Read on for 4 awesome benefits of picking up heavy stuff.
1. Metabolism Increases. More muscles = more energy inside = more fat-burning. Sorry, cardio isn't going to give you that kind of muscle. Go lift some heavy stuff, build some muscle and burn more calories doing nothing.
2. Bone Protection. We need to weight bearing exercises (even body weight) to help build bone strength. It's a bit complicated to get into the physiology here but check out this nerdy article.
3. You Could Sleep Better. A study by the Journal of Exercise Physiology found that elderly people who practiced moderate-intensity resistance training for 12 weeks had better sleep quality compared to those who stayed sedentary over a six-month period.
4. Decrease Anxiety. There are many studies that have been done that show how exercise can reduce stress hormones in the body, but this study focused specifically on resistance training. The study showed that this kind of exercise can be a positive intervention for people with anxiety.