Friday, June 15, 2007
Posted by Helene
By now, you have probably figured out that what I consider a well rounded fitness routine includes cardio-vascular exercise, strength training or weight lifting and stretching. I can say that 99% of the ladies I train start by telling me “I don’t want to lift weights that much because I don’t want to bulk up”. I then spend about 10-15 extra minutes explaining the many benefits of strength training and that women do not have the levels of testosterone necessary to bulk up and that would have to have a pretty intense diet and exercise routine to get bulked up. The benefits of strength training do not apply to women only so let’s talk about a few, shall we?
- Increased metabolic rate: strength training can provide up to a 15% increase in metabolic rate which is helpful for weight loss and weight management.
Cardio exercise burns calories right at the time you are exercising but your metabolism returns to normal after about 30 minutes. When you strength train, and depending on the intensity of your weight lifting, your metabolism can stay elevated for up to 2 hours after you are finished.
- Strength training increase not only your muscle mass but also you bone density. Inactivity can lead to a decrease in bone density and over the years increase your chance for osteoporosis. Once again folks, think about the big picture. What you are doing now, will be beneficial for years to come. Some studies show an increase of 1% -3 % in adults who included weight lifting in their routine.
- Some studies have shown that about 25% to 30% of the weight lost by dieting alone is not only fat but lean tissue, muscle, bone and water. Strength training preserves your lean muscle mass, increase your muscle strength and ultimately reducing your body fat.
- Strength training can reduce your risk for diabetes, or improve your blood sugar levels if you already have it: research shows that muscle training can increase the way your body utilizes glucose by 23% in just four months. Your muscles use sugar (carbohydrates) during exercise to contract and relax. Your body uses the sugar supplies in your blood to be able to meet this demand, reducing your blood sugar levels.
- Strength training lowers blood pressure: regular exercise and specially muscle building strengthens the heart and allows it to pump more blood with less effort. The stronger your heart is, the less it has to work and prevents you from exerting your arteries.
- A wide variety of sports-related or life-related injuries can be prevented by strengthening muscles and joints. Strength training also improves your balance, flexibility and mobility. The stronger your muscles get the more comfortable you will be and avoid falls and accidents, or simple muscle and joint tears and fatigue.
- I often train people who need physical rehabilitation after surgery or accidents. Because we cannot strength train the injure muscle, we work on strengthening the muscles surrounding the injure area. The stronger your muscles get the quicker you will heal.
- Strength training improves your quality of life: it is much easier to accomplish everyday activities, such as carrying groceries, pushing strollers and working in the yard if you are not struggling with your lack of strength. Building a successful strength training routine will also boost your confidence level, make you stand taller and make you feel good about yourself, thus warding off feelings of depression
Start slow and build up gradually the number of exercises, the weights and frequency of your training. If you do not know where to start and you already belong to a gym, make an appointment with a trainer. Cut out routines in magazines and start lifting with cans of soup of jars of tomato sauce. Rent a tape or refer to our new bi-weekly moves demos.
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This Post was written by Helen from Tartelette