ROANOKE CO., Va. -

When many of us think about lifting weights, we picture the Arnold Schwarzenegger's of the world. 

But talk to any personal trainer, and he or she will tell you that weight lifting is as important to your health and well-being as cardio.  Experts say any moderate activity, two or three times a week, can make a huge difference.

"It's all about the core," says personal trainer Betty Bennett.  Bennett works at the Gold's Gym in Roanoke County.  She says the health benefits of lifting with correct form go internally as well.

"Lower cholestorol, it can help with diabetes, you'll just feel better," Bennett said.  Every weights workout, if done correctly, can test the core.  Bennett says engaging your abs and keeping your torso tight are the best ways you can do that.  The best part about all this, the weight doesn't necessarily matter that much, especially for beginning lifters.

Whether it's exercises you can do at your bedside, like pushups or planks, or in the weight room, anything can engage the core.

When lifting free weights for biceps, you can keep your body still and your core will get a workout. Same thing on a weights machine; for example, doing lateral pull-downs for your back not only helps your back muscles, but also your body if you engage your core correctly.

Many of us want to slim down for beach and bathing suit season, but doing some lifting has far greater benefits.