The other day, I was speaking to a colleague of mine about her workout routine.
She told me that she had lost 11 pounds since the last time we saw each other. Intrigued by her results, I asked her how long it had taken her to lose the weight and which method of exercise she used to do so.
“Usually, I run an hour on the treadmill every day. Whenever I don’t feel like running, I just do something else for cardio. It’s taken me roughly six months to lose the weight,” she said. It saddens me to say that I wasn’t surprised by her answer. After all, most of the women I meet at the gym mention doing some form of cardio, i.e. running, cycling or swimming, as their go-to exercise for losing weight.
As women, we’ve been taught to stay away from ‘manly’ exercises, such as lifting weights. Throughout time, we’ve been conditioned to think of ourselves as delicate creatures with fine lines, long legs and a small waist. Thankfully, however, society has evolved. Now, we live in a world where being curvy, athletic and toned is preferred.
Ladies, let me break it down for you… weightlifting is the best way to create a strong, toned, healthy physique.
There are countless reasons why you should incorporate strength training in your workouts, but here are a six of the most persuasive:
- Improve bone health
- Reduce risk of injury
- Boost metabolism = Increases weightloss
- Prevent accumulation of belly-fat
- Improve flexibility, posture and range of motion
- Your bikini body will thank you
As most of you know, weaker muscles can contribute to multiple health problems, such as osteoporosis, arthritis and back pain. Even though muscle strength does diminish as you age, studies have shown that only 30% of the strength difference between older and younger adults is caused by age. What that means is that the remaining 70% that contributes to strength-loss is your own doing due to a lack of physical activity.
By lifting weights, you’re able to strengthen your muscles and increase bone density to reduce the risk of future injuries. Trust me, the older you will want to stand up on his own.
Also, despite popular belief, strength training is a better course of action for weight-loss. Technically, you do tend to burn more calories during a cardio session than a weight-lifting session; but… through weightlifting, your body continues to burn calories after your workout, unlike cardio.
“Our metabolism stays elevated by up to 10 percent for three days after you lift as your body repairs the microtrauma in muscles.” – Wayne Westcott, Ph.D
I don’t want you to think that you have to choose between doing cardio or lifting weights. You certainly need to do both for your overall well-being.
I want you to know that it’s possible to do cardio through a strength-training workout by performing circuits or adding plyometric exercises between sets. For those of you who don’t know, that’s exactly how I get my cardio. I don’t run, swim or cycle but I do super-sets, circuits and plyo moves every day.
Try to lift some weights and let me know how you feel after!
2011. “Get stronger, live better. Benefits of weight training.” Mayo Clinic Health Letter (English Ed.) 29, no. 7: 1-3. MEDLINE Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 9, 2017)
2016. “10 WAYS TO burn more fat.” Women’s Fitness no. 154: 58. MasterFILE Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 9, 2017).
2015. “Cardio Vs. Weights.” Self 37, no. 10: 53. MasterFILE Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 10, 2017).
Viallagran, E. 2005. “Cardio vs. strength training: must you choose just one?.” Alive: Canada’s Natural Health & Wellness Magazine no. 277: 90-91. CINAHL Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 10, 2017)
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