While strength training exercises such as squats, pull-ups, and weight lifting can be absolutely grueling, there are a few amazing benefits that will make them worth your while…other than chiseled muscles.

First of all, strength training raises excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC). What this means is that it can raise your metabolism for up to 24 hours after your workout concludes. This change allows the body to burn fat more efficiently throughout the day while securing sustained energy. Additionally, lean muscle improves posture, sculpts the physique, and protects our bones.

Another big advantage that comes with strength training is that it can help you beat sugar cravings. Basically, strength training boosts the number of proteins that take glucose out of the blood and transport it into the skeletal muscle. This gives the muscles more energy and lowers overall blood-glucose levels. The body’s insulin response will be lowered, which limits rapid blood sugar spikes. Not only is this important for beating cravings, but it also keeps our bodies from holding on to unnecessary fat.

The last great benefit of strength training is that it reduces the negative effects that come with sitting so much. When we sit for long periods of time, we lose activation in our core and glutes. This leads to added pressure in places like the lower back. In order to avoid this issue, it is incredibly beneficial (and imperative) to strengthen these muscle groups—that way these muscles can support the body at all times, even in passive situations. If you’ve been avoiding strength training, hopefully, these added benefits will motivate you to start incorporating them into your workouts.