Weight training has had several misconceptions surrounding it. There was a time when it was thought that weight training wasn’t as important as other forms of exercise; that it was only suitable for men and that women did not need it. However, since the past few years, weight training has rightfully reclaimed its place in the workout schedules of fitness enthusiasts regardless of gender or age. The fact is that weight training has plenty of health benefits for all of us and it is absolutely necessary to do it along with cardio and other forms of exercise. A new study has revealed that weight training can actually help increase your longevity. According to the report, weight training lead to an increase in muscle power which depends on the ability to generate force and velocity and to coordinate movement. Researcher Claudio Gil Araújo, Professor at Exercise Medicine Clinic — CLINIMEX in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil says that people with more muscle power tend to live longer.

This doesn’t mean you keep increasing your weights with the hope to become more powerful. The study showed that ‘you only need to be above the median for your sex to have the best survival, with no further benefit in becoming even more powerful.’ What exactly constitutes maximal power? A weight that is ‘not so easy to lift and not so heavy that you can barely lift it.’ It is important to note that muscle power starts decreasing after 40 years of age. This is why it important to start weight training for both the upper and lower body early on. Here are some other ways lifting weights in the gym can help you:

Cuts down the risk of stroke, diabetes and more diseases: As compared to those who don’t weight train, weight training for just one hour can reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke by 40 to 70 per cent, said a new study. There was also a 29 per cent lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome including diabetes and high cholesterol by 32 per cent. Again, this study reiterated that simply increasing the weights or spending more time in the gym wasn’t more beneficial. Just two sets of bench presses that take less than five minutes could be effective according to Duck-chul Lee, Associate Professor from the Iowa State University in the US. In fact the study went on further to state that only weight training was enough for these benefits.