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7) Why train with weights? Who can it benefit? How does it benefit you?

Does it only
help with physical fitness or other aspects of human development? How has it helped
you in your personal life?

Weight training has multiple benefits, where it can improve ones physical work
capacity, or performance of activities in their daily lives. Weight training is for everyone,
whether they are young, old, strong, weak, male, or female. Everyone can benefit from
completing a weightlifting program, and can see an improvement in numerous aspects
of human development.

Weight training will help one gain strength in key areas of their body. An article
from states that "it Increases the strength of connective tissue, muscles, and
tendons" (Gustafson). Strengthening these specific areas of the body aids in an
improvement in gross, and fine motor movement. This allows us to move more
efficiently, and safely as we walk, run, jump, squat, push, and pull in our daily lives. One
can see a difference in balance, posture, stability, and flexibility, whether you spend
your day lifting heavy boxes at a warehouse, or typing for countless hours at a desk.

In addition, it can help one maintain any weight they lose in combination with
healthier eating habits, and moderate exercise. WebMD's #1 tip to get more out of your
workout is to build muscle mass. According to Stacy Heimburger, a practicing physician,
"when you increase your muscle mass, you boost your resting metabolism" (Davis).
Speeding up your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) means that your body will push itself
more and will exhaust more energy and calories to maintain muscle than it will to
maintain fat. Simply put, weight training or anaerobic exercise increases your
metabolism, burns fat, and helps you lose weight or ensures that you will not gain it
back as easily.

Additionally, weight training can help improve an individuals mental health, and
overall state of mind. Taking on a challenge by increasing the amount of weight on a
machine, and steadily progressing towards a goal can boost an individuals confidence.
Per, and fitness expert John Carrico, weightlifting teaches you the skill
of perseverance, the ability to overcome discomfort and challenge yourself
(Braverman). Clearly, feeling physically stronger has a strong impression on an
individuals state of mind. Also, like any other type of exercise, weight training allows an
individual to alieve stress, anxiety, and depression by providing a rush of endorphins
every time an individual spends time in the weight room. According to the American
Psychological Association fifty-three percent of adults say they feel good about
themselves after exercising, 35 percent say it puts them in a good mood, and 30
percent say they feel less stressed (Stress and Exercise).

As an individual who is stress prone, spending time in the weight room has
allowed me to release my frustrations. Spending time inside of the gym has been a
welcome escape for a student who works, and studies nearly full-time. Also, as
someone who suffers from anxiety, and depression, weight training has been an activity
that I can control. I can decide what part of my body to focus on each day, or which
machines or weight to use. A weight training program allows me to persevere to
complete a set, or to take a break when I have reached my limit. Having the freedom to
make these decisions is a blessing for someone who cannot control, or change their
own brain chemistry. What makes weight training more worthwhile for someone who
suffers with mental illness is that it can curb symptoms. For instance, one
small studyfound that 80 percent of older adults with depression experienced a
significant reduction in symptoms after a 10-week resistance training program (Miller).

Weight training has allowed me to see a difference in my physical health, and

appearance. Every goal I had made before starting this course has been addressed.
Specifically, I see a difference by the toned and defined appearance of my legs, thighs,
arms, and shoulders. In a short amount of time, I have been able to progress
immensely. For example, I have been able to go from 35 pounds to 60 pounds on the
overhead press, which is an increase of 71.4%. I was able to go from 60 pounds to 130
pounds on the seated row, which is an increase of 116.7%. Attending class twice a
week for the past two months, and being consistent with the exercises completed has
led to this improvement in performance. Even minor improvements are motivation to
continue this exercise plan. Needless to say, I am impressed with my results.

Furthermore, weightlifting has helped me strengthen my lower back muscles, an

area of constant injury, stiffness, and pain. Working in an office setting had aggravated
the problem even more as I had poor posture, balance, and flexibility. Exercises
completed at home or at my local gym, like squats, and planks have helped strengthen
the muscles in my core, those that support spine. While I have much to improve on with
these exercises, I can see a difference as I have experienced less discomfort when
sitting at my desk.

Most importantly, I have started to lower my chances of contracting diabetes. As

a disease that is common in my family, diabetes has always been a top priority to
prevent, and avoid. I refuse to become another statistic. I do not want to lower, and limit
my quality of life because of my poor decisions. From the get go, I have known that I
needed to follow healthier eating habits to lose weight, and to follow a regular exercise
plan to maintain the weight I have lost a key goal for someone at risk for diabetes.
More so, weightlifting has been credited with helping individuals control their blood
sugar, and insulin sensitivity levels. EverydayHealth states that toned muscles also
store glucose more effectively, and that helps regulate blood sugar even when youre at
rest (Warner). Weightlifting has been a catalyst for change as I slowly move towards a
more health, and fitness conscious lifestyle. Thus, I want to develop a long-term plan
consisting of aerobic, and anaerobic exercise to address this health concern. At this
point, I plan on spending three to five days out of the week at the gym, whether it is at
the Taylorsville campus, or near my home in Magna.
Works Cited

Braverman, Jody. "13 Benefits of Weightlifting That No One Tells You About." Leaf Group, 13 May 2016. Web. 03 Aug. 2017.

Davis, Jeanie Lerche. "Get More Burn From Your Workout." WebMD. WebMD, n.d.
Web. 04 Aug. 2017.

Gustafson, Kristin. "5 Benefits of Weight Training." Rasmussen College.

N.p., 01 Apr. 2011. Web. 04 Aug. 2017.

Miller, Anna, Medaris. Can Weightlifting Treat Depression? U.S. News. 30 Mar. 2017.
Web. 03 Aug. 2017.

"Stress and Exercise." American Psychological Association. American Psychological

Association, n.d. Web. 03 Aug. 2017.

Warner, Jennifer. "Strength Training: A Great Tool for Diabetes Management." Everyday Health, 17 Sept. 2014. Web. 03 Aug. 2017.