We hear a lot about the importance of exercise for better health. We understand that aerobic exercise is beneficial for heart health and helps to burn fat. But what about adding strength training? How important is it to our overall fitness program?
Many people still have the notion that strength training will make you build big, bulging muscles like you see in bodybuilders. Most people, especially women, do not want to have this look. As a result they stay away from weights.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Strength training helps us to look lean and healthy. Where good nutrition and aerobics help to burn off the fat, strength training helps to tone the muscles that were underneath the fat. You cannot have a toned body without using weight resistance.
Strengthening your muscles does more than just make you look good. It helps you have better posture and strengthens your entire framework. Having strong muscles allows you to carry you body’s weight more effectively. Resistance training is a great way to build the muscle your body requires.
Another reason for strength training is to help prevent muscle loss. As we get older we start to lose muscle. And since the muscle helps to support our skeletal system, losing muscle can affect our bones as well. If you plan to live to a ripe old age, it is important to keep your muscles strong so that you are able to have strong bones as well.
However, the natural loss of muscle can be prevented. By using resistance to work your muscles you can help to reverse the muscle lost to aging. You can regain the body you had in your youth by working your muscles as well as practicing good nutrition and aerobic exercise.
Not only will strength training help to build good core muscles, it will help strengthen your bones and increase your metabolism.
In fact, strength training will actually help boost your weight loss by firing up your fat burning furnace. Studies show that fat burning continues long after you are finished strength training. It also can increase bone density and may help prevent osteoporosis.
As far as those who think that you will look like a bodybuilder if you use weights, it is all in how you strength train. Using lighter weights and more repetitions will give you a leaner more toned body. Using heavy weights with fewer repetitions you will build a larger muscle mass. You will not look like Mr. Olympia unless that is what you are trying to achieve!
The point is strength training is important for everyone. No matter what your fitness goals are, adding resistance training to your routine can help you reach them. You will look better, feel better and have better health by following good nutrition and an exercise program that includes aerobics and strength training.