Contrary to what most people think, weightlifting isn't just for showing off. Its benefits transcend the confidence and physical appeal this activity provides.

Photo: SLS Photography

Photo: SLS Photography

Here are 5 health benefits of weightlifting: 

1. Metabolism Boost. In a study published in the February 2008 issue of Cell Metabolism, Boston University researchers concluded that weightlifting builds Type II muscle fibers - muscles that burn fat, and primarily responsible for improving whole body metabolism

2. Improve Sports Performance. Fitness experts agree, that whatever sports one is engaged in -  whether it’s basketball, volleyball or football; lifting weights translate into better performance.  This is because weightlifting improves dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination, all of which will help you play at the top of your game.

3. Reduces Depression. Just like swimming and running, weightlifting is not different when it comes to alleviating depression.  In a study published in The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 2004, women who ran and lifted weights for eight weeks gave similar results on non depression.

4. Better Health. Numerous studies found out that weightlifting fights osteoporosis, lowers diabetes risk and is good for our heart.

5. Build Resilience. Weightlifting instills grit and perseverance - the ability to overcome discomfort and challenge yourself,  to push oneself when everything says stop, when muscles start to give out and it burn, says fitness expert John Carico.

When it comes to shaping up and getting fit, weightlifting provides numerous benefits to the body. This holistic effect should  convince everyone to give it a try, and lift.