If there is one resolution that I can convince all women to try for 2010, it is this… add strength training to your fitness routine.
Many women believe that the only way to lose weight is to do aerobic exercise. So they jog or take aerobics classes five times a week. Eventually, they notice that while their bodies are a little smaller, there are still a lot of flabby parts. Sound familiar? Aerobic exercise is important for good health, but it’s only half of the equation.
For optimal fitness, longevity, and a lean body, weight training is essential. If you avoid pumping iron because you’re afraid of getting “bulky,” then you’re missing out on one of the best fat-burning methods around.
When you’re weight training, you shouldn’t rely exclusively on the scale to gauge your progress. You can use a body fat tester or a tape measure to track how many inches you’re losing. The size of your body will shrink as you shed fat and build muscle, but your weight may not change as dramatically as you expect. Besides, what’s more important, the number on the scale or how you look in your skinny jeans? Still not convinced? Here are a few of the top reasons that women should weight train.
Weight Training Burns More Fat.
Researchers at Tufts University found that when overweight women lifted heavy weights twice a week, they lost an average of 14.6 pounds of fat and gained 1.4 pounds of muscle. The control group, women who dieted but didn’t lift weights, lost only 9.2 pounds of fat and gained no muscle. Dropping only 3 percent of your body fat could translate into a total loss of 3 inches off your hips and thighs. And no, you won’t bulk up—women don’t have enough muscle-building hormones to gain a lot of mass like men do.
Weight Training Boosts Your Metabolism.
The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism will be. As women age, they lose muscle at increasing rates, especially after the age of 40. When you diet without doing resistance training, up to 25 percent of the weight loss may be muscle loss. Weight training while dieting can help you preserve and even rebuild muscle fibers. The more lean mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be and the more calories you’ll burn all day long.
Weight Training Improves Strength in Both Muscles and Bones.
Lifting weights increases functional fitness, which makes everyday tasks such as carrying children, lifting grocery bags, and picking up heavy suitcases much easier. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular weight training can make you 50 percent stronger in 6 months. It’s also been well documented that women need to do weight-bearing exercise to build and maintain bone mass, and prevent osteoporosis. Just as muscles get stronger and bigger with use, so do bones when they’re made to bear weight. Stronger bones and increased muscle mass also lead to better flexibility and balance, which is especially important for women as they age.
So, make sure to add weight training to your list for 2010 resolutions. Excellent home DVD programs that incorporate strength training. Search yeahtips.com for strength training.