Cardio exercise is great for the heart and yes, it makes us feel fabulous- but if you want to really maximize calorie burn Strength Training is where it’s at.
Not only will you burn calories in the actual moment of strength training but studies show that even days after a ST session, folks will burn 50% MORE calories. This really illustrates why strength training is so important in firing up your metabolism. The more muscle you have the more calories you will burn.
- Take fewer sick days. An active person has a stronger immune system-just don’t over do it! Studies show people who do regular exercise are sick less often.
- Sculpt a sexy physique! While cardio will help with dropping weight, if a strong sexy body is what you’re after you will definitely need to incorporate strength training to build and sculpt the muscles. (Don’t worry gals- you won’t get bulky! Think lean and sexy!)
- To strengthen our joints – According to the Arthritis Foundation, sedentary lifestyles are a leading cause of osteoarthritis. Lifting weights is a great preventive strategy. Strong muscles support our joints.
- Improve Balance – As we mature, we lose fast-twitch muscles cells, which generate the power that helps us balance. But you can build those cells back up with explosive weight training. Scientific studies show that balance can be recovered through strength training.
- Stave off disease and slow the aging process – If the lure of strong and muscled physique didn’t convince you- how about the health benefits or reducing risk of diabetes, breast cancer and high blood pressure? Research suggests that regular exercise can reduce your breast cancer risk by as much as 20 to 40 percent. Boosting muscular strength and reducing body fat can lower estrogen levels, which may help reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. Studies have also confirmed that just an hour of strength training per week can reduce blood pressure enough to drop stroke risk by 25 percent. As for diabetes, the accumulation of too much fat inside muscles can lead to Type 2 diabetes, which is currently at epidemic proportions in America. Research has shown that overweight women who do resistance training can reduce the fat inside their muscles, thereby altering their fat metabolism. When you’re lifting, your muscles are using glycogen for energy; during the rest period in between exercises, your muscles then burn the stored fat.
- Boost Athletic Performance- Resistance training can improve your performance in any sport or fitness activity by building the powerful muscles needed for kicking, dribbling or serving, or hiking, climbing a wall or running through mud. Adding weights to your routine will make you a better and stronger athlete. For example if you’re a runner, you can do certain exercises to improve the fast twitch muscles in your legs. The cross training will also help to strengthen supporting muscles to prevent injury from repetitive use.
- Flatten your Abs – We know weight training helps to burn fat and build muscle, and thus increasing metabolism. But there is scientific evidence that it can help stop the spread of belly fat. A study performed on overweight women (ages 25 to 44) who performed strength training routines twice a week as compared to a control group did aerobic activity showed the strength-training group lost more body fat in total. They also had far less abdominal fat increases than the control group. Since abdominal fat is one of the most dangerous kinds of fat (linked to metabolic syndrome and heart disease), it’s even more important to blast it away.
This is to name just a few! Add your favorite reason to strength train in the comments below and we can keep the conversation going!