Aerobic exercise is not the only type of workout that should be undertaken for a healthy lifestyle. Strength training is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles. It’s extremely beneficial for both general fitness and improvement in almost any sport.
Strength training is perhaps the most overlooked aspect of staying fit and getting the results you desire. You don’t need to lift at an extremely heavy rate, or conduct exhausting sessions. There are many different types of strength training, including using your own body weight as resistance, working with resistance bands or tubing, or utilizing free weights and weight machines. Strength training doesn't have to take large amounts of time. A short workout is better than nothing, and you don’t necessarily need a lot of equipment. You can develop a workout that you can complete entirely at home.
Contrary to assumption, strength training is not just for men; in fact, strength training helps slow down the decrease of bone density, and is invaluable in helping women reduce the risk of developing diseases such as osteoporosis. You don’t need to have bulky muscles or look masculine in order to enjoy the benefits of strength training. It can actually help to you lose weight and slim down, as it builds lean muscle, and that lean muscle burns more calories than fat. Strength training also helps to reduce the risk of injury in all aspects of your workout, strengthening muscles to protect joints and increase balance.
Did you know that increasing muscle is an underutilized method of fighting obesity? Each pound of muscle burns 50 calories per day, even when we’re at rest. Compare this to a pound of fat, which burns only two calories per day. Thus, if we can add as little as 10 pounds of muscle mass to our bodies in exchange for ten pounds of fat, you’ll be able to burn calories at a much greater rate. This will ultimately lead a significant change in your metabolism and will allow you to look better, feel better and keep weight off on a much more permanent basis! Here are some suggestions for strength training exercises:
Using Body Resistance:
- Push-ups and pull-ups
- Lunges and squats, especially when incorporating arm movements
Using Resistance Bands or Tubing:
- Resistance tubing is an easy way to build lean muscle without bulking up. Consult a workout DVD or trainer for the best exercises to achieve results!
Using free weights or weight machines:
- These exercises require equipment, such as barbells, dumbbells, and resistance machines. Again, consult a trainer or professional to tailor a workout plan to your individual needs.
Important: Don't forget to rest! Muscles need time to repair themselves, so avoid strength training the same muscle groups on consecutive days. If you train your arms on a Monday, consider a cardio workout or strength training for legs on Tuesday.