There is a growing trend and I LOVE IT! Strength training is back! Although for me personally, it never left! I have been strength training since my early 20’s and find it to be the absolute best way to stay in shape, look and feel fit, be more flexible, maintain weight and feel strong.
Strength training is finally getting the well deserved recognition it deserves as one of the BEST ways to get in shape and stay in shape with a toned, fit and healthy body!
Strength training is the most important type of exercise you can do for better overall health. Most people have the misconception that you need to run, jog or do some sort of cardio to be fit, lean and healthy. Cardiovascular training absolutely has it’s place with heart pumping benefits, just not as the only exercise that you are doing in your routine.
After years of people following fitness trends with many of them stepping away from their weights and dumb bells, they are now realizing the best way to “get fit” and “stay fit” is to maintain muscle mass with a good strength training program.
The number one complaint that I hear from people about their body is loss of muscle tone, followed by physical weakness, belly fat, poor posture and balance.
We all know that weight training increases bone density which lowers the risk of osteoporosis, but it also builds muscle mass and increases your overall strength while burning fat. The best part of picking up your weights is that you will keep burning calories even after your fitness session is finished! The ideal strength training program will increase your lean muscle mass as it reduces body fat, burns more calories, which will give you the reward of a healthy, toned, fit looking body. Of course you will need a healthy diet with protein and whole foods to fuel your body and get the most out of your workouts too.
For the ladies: The misconception that if women lift weights they will get big, bulky muscles and look like a professional body builder is simply not true. Women need not worry about looking like Mr Olympia since the ability to get huge muscles takes testosterone and women simply do not produce the amount of testosterone that men do, so in reality women cannot build the same muscle size as a man. So relax and pick up those dumb bells!
On a personal note; I once volunteered for hospice and worked with many aging adults in nursing homes and hospitals. The one thing that I noticed as I watched these people go about their daily lives was that the majority of them lacked strength and mobility. I truly believe that if they had lived more active lifestyles with strength training and daily exercise that they would not have been so immobile, stiff and arthritic in their daily lives as they aged. Strength train now for a healthier, vibrant and more active future!
If you are looking for a fit, toned, healthy body, that will treat you well as you age, it is crucial for you to begin a fitness program with more strength training for increased strength, muscle mass and bone density along with the required amount of cardio training for cardiovascular health, stretching for flexibility and balance training too. Start light and build up your strength slowly. If you can, hire a certified personal trainer to guide you on proper form and a program designed just for you and your fitness goals in mind.
The following is an article from the Mayo Clinic on strength training and getting leaner and stronger, check it out at Mayo Clinic-Fitness.