If you’re here, you already have the desire to transform your life with the endless health and wellness benefits of fitness. Whether you’re looking to reduce anxiety and stress or lower the number on that scale (or a little bit of both), fitness has the power to transform the way we live, look and feel. Fitness is powerful–especially when implementing a consistent and well-rounded fitness program.
Cardiovascular workouts like running or cycling are a great place to start, but the greatest health and weight loss benefits can be found by incorporating strength training.
Pump Up Your Metabolism
Engaging in regular strength training will help you improve your body’s metabolism by forcing your body to spend calories maintaining your muscles. After your workout, your body expends extra energy to repair your muscles. Even when you’re not working out, your muscles burn extra calories so that they can be ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice. If you build up your muscles, your body will use more energy even while you’re waiting at the bus stop or while you’re hard at work in your cubicle.
Improve Your Overall Health
Strength training does more than just help you burn excess calories. Trained muscles don’t tire as quickly and are more resistant to injury. A good routine will improve your overall health so that you can keep exercising regularly, even as you age. Strength training boosts the stability of your bones, improves your balance and strengthens your tendons.
Extra Aerobic Workout
Although lifting weights probably won’t make your heart pump as fast as running or hiking, your heart will still get a good workout. To push your heart, you need to do activities that challenge your body. Halfhearted attempts during a strength training routine will do little to improve your muscle mass. Increasing the resistance of your weight machine, for example, will force your heart to work harder to provide your muscles with the energy that they need.
Change Your Workout
Engaging in the same cardiovascular activities can get boring very quickly. In addition, your body will eventually become more efficient at activities that you participate in frequently, causing you to burn fewer calories each time. Alternating between strength training and aerobic exercises is a great way to challenge your body. If you mix up your routine and avoid boredom, you’ll be more likely to stay committed to your weight loss goals.
Retain the Muscles You Have
If your weight loss strategy involves increasing your overall physical activity while reducing your calorie intake, you may end up starving your existing muscles. When you’re overweight, your body increases its muscle mass to support your weight and help you move. As you shed your excess weight, your body may trim your muscle mass as well. Incorporating a strength training routine can prevent this unwanted loss of muscle strength. If you manage to retain your muscles, your weight loss journey will proceed more quickly.
Overall, sustained weight loss requires more than reducing your calorie intake and increasing your aerobic activity. Strength training can play a critical role in your weight loss success by increasing your metabolism and making your body work harder each day.