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What Are the Benefits of Weight-bearing Exercise?

Weight-bearing exercise helps strengthen bones and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Weight lifting builds muscle strength.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 17 March 2014
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There are many benefits a person can enjoy when performing weight-bearing exercise on a regular basis. The obvious benefits are stronger muscles and a toned body, but this type of exercise offers many other advantages as well. Weight-bearing exercise helps build bones, build muscle, and has a positive effect on many health conditions. This type of exercise also helps reduce a person’s risk of injury. It may even help people to lose weight faster.

Many people do weight-bearing exercises in order to enjoy a toned physique. Working out in this manner can replace flabby, fatty parts of the body with toned muscle. It also helps build muscle strength, boost coordination, and improve a person’s overall balance. As a person build’s his muscles, he can count on not only a more defined look for muscular areas, but also less risk of accidental injury. Adding muscle mass works to make the joints, bones, tendons, and ligaments hardier and more capable of avoiding injury.

Weight-bearing exercise also builds and strengthens a person’s bones. When a person does weight-bearing exercise, his muscles pull on his bones as he does them. This helps make the bones both stronger and more dense. Stronger bones mean less chance of injury and can even translate into a reduced risk of osteoporosis, which is a disease marked by brittle, weakened bones.

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Often, people think of dieting and aerobic exercise when they want to lose weight. Weight-bearing exercise can also play a role in weight loss, however. Muscle requires the body to expend more energy to maintain than fat does. This means a person with more muscle may burn more calories in the course of daily living than someone who has more fat would burn. Additionally, a person who does weight-bearing exercise may be able to eat more without gaining weight than a person who restricts his workouts to other forms of exercise.

An individual hoping to achieve better health and stamina may find weight-bearing exercises helpful. Exercising with weights helps increase a person’s overall stamina. It may also help slow the aging process, especially if a person also does exercises that are good for the cardiovascular system, such as walking and running. Since those who do weight-bearing exercises regularly tend to have leaner bodies, they may also have a decreased risk of developing cancer, diabetes, and many other health problems that are associated with being overweight.

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Discuss this Article

julies
Post 5

When I decided I needed to start exercising on a regular basis, I started out with cardio exercises that would raise my heart rate.

After reading about how important it was to add strength training exercises to my routine, I began slowly. If you start out too quickly with weight bearing exercises, your muscles will be so sore that it is hard to work out the next day.

Another thing I like to do is rotate muscle groups so I am not working the same muscles every day. This gives them a chance to rest between workouts and they don't get overworked.

I love having a body that feels toned and in shape and think the weight bearing exercises I do have made a big difference in my overall well being.

snickerish
Post 4

@bluespirit - I think the biggest thing to do to avoid weight bearing exercise boredom, is to buy a subscription to a health magazine that gives you a few new moves to add to your repertoire every month and gradually you have a whole list of exercises so that you can change your routine without doing any excessive planning.

Also I find that these magazines to tailor their information to all readers, they do not give to many exercises that involve equipment that you have to buy.

Plus when it comes to the weight bearing exercise machines that are sold in stores and on TV are not great to buy, not because they don’t work but because people have told me over and over again that they have difficulty working out at home.

So to these people, I say spend the money you would have spent on a machine on a gym membership! You have a ton of machines and many times you can negotiate a better monthly rate than what the gym is offering. Also it can be inspirational to see other people working out.

bluespirit
Post 3

My husband has always found that his best weight loss exercise is to do weight bearing exercise. He tried running because I was a runner and it was an easy thing for us to do together. However, he found he had difficulty losing weight and that he did not enjoy it as much.

After researching cardio versus weight bearing exercises, I completely agree with this article - doing both is key. Plus, in doing both you beat that boredom that you might otherwise be feeling if you just run like I did.

Two of my favorite things that I have read about weight bearing exercise is that it is part of a avoiding osteoporosis exercise program since it strengthen your bones, and that it ups your metabolism (much like cardio exercising does, but for a more sustained time period).

However, I must say that I have found that I get bored more easily with weight-bearing exercises bearing exercises than aerobic workouts. Anyone else find this is true for them?

GreenWeaver
Post 2

@Icecream17 - I used to be a runner and I will say that I have suffered from my own injuries and have found water aerobics and swimming to be my favorite forms of exercise because they don’t stress the joints as much.

What I love about water aerobics is that I can jog in the water, but the water offers resistance and causes me to burn fat while not causing damage to my knees. I never realized how effective this form of exercise was and anyone regardless of age or physical condition can participate in an activity like this. I wish I would have started doing this sooner. I also hear that it is a popular form of exercise for seniors.

icecream17
Post 1

I agree that exercise benefits of weight bearing exercise is great, but I have a hard time with weight lifting.

I don’t know if my form is wrong or if I am lifting too much weight, but I always seem to get a dull pain in the middle of my upper back and that has really turned me off to weight lifting.

What I do instead is use resistance bands. I do a whole routine with these bands and I find that my body is getting toned and I don’t run the risk of injury like I do with weight lifting.

I also have tried yoga which is also a fantastic alternative. Using a stationary rowing machines is great for the back too and offers the best overall upper body workout.

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