Raise your hand if you think the answer to your burning desire to be as fit and healthy as you can is do cardio, more cardio, and then a whole lot more cardio.
Oh, girl. I’ve been in your shoes. I thought running or otherwise getting my heart rate up for extended periods of time was THE most important thing I could do to be fit and maintain my weight.
Step off the treadmill (or Peloton bike) for a moment and let’s have a chat about strength training.
Strength training is NOT just for bodybuilders or dudes in muscle shirts who carry gallon jugs of water from one weight bench to the next. Strength training is for every person, whether you’re 25 or 85 years old.
Strength training is a crucial aspect of staying fit, losing or maintaining weight, and our overall health. Let’s take a look at a listy-list that should convince you why!
Why Strength Training is Important for Everyone
1. Strength training improves your bone health.
By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density, thereby decreasing the risk of osteoporosis. This is something that is especially important for aging women. And we’re all aging women. 😉
2. Strength training protects muscle mass.
Starting around the age of 30, we naturally lose 30-50 percent of muscle mass each year. Without strength training, what happens? We get weaker and weaker as we age. Strength training helps prevent that by replacing the muscle mass you naturally lose.
Look at the facts. This will help us to stay independent (who wants to live in a nursing home when they are older? Not this girl…) and live longer!
3. Strength training reduces belly fat.
Yep. Studies have shown that strength training is more effective at reducing and preventing abdominal fat than cardiovascular exercise. Pick up those dumbbells.
4. Strength training can help control blood sugar levels.
Strength training has been shown to be very important for diabetic patients because it improves the functioning of the muscle cells that transport glucose from the blood to the muscles, which decreases blood sugar levels.
Even if you aren’t diabetic, keeping our blood sugar levels in check is important.
5. Strength training can lower your risk of injury.
Strong muscles protect connecting tendons while increasing the flexibility of ligaments. This makes the ligaments less likely to get strained or torn. Lifting weights also prevents muscle imbalances that can lead to overuse injuries.
6. Strength training makes your body look better.
You’re so vain, you probably think number six is about you, don’t you, don’t you? You know what? Call it vanity if you want, but we ALL want to look good naked. RIGHT?! All actual health reasons aside, lifting weights can make your body look good like no other form of exercise.
Resistance training can help us lose weight faster because it speeds up our resting metabolic rate. Why? Because it takes our body more calories to maintain muscle than it does to maintain fat. The more muscle your body has, the harder it has to work (burn calories!) to maintain it.
Lifting also changes the tone and appearance of our muscles in a way that cardio alone cannot. Want the best bang for your buck? Lift heavy weights! If you want your muscles to change you have to adequately fatigue them.
7. Strength training is effective for cardiovascular health.
There are a few ways that resistance training can help maintain or improve the health of your heart. First, strength training has a positive effect on resting blood pressure levels. Second, it also has a positive effect on blood lipid levels. Lastly, some evidence suggests that strength training can improve vascular condition, or the ability of arteries to accommodate blood flow.
8. Strength training makes life easier!
Think about all the things in life that are just plain easier when you’re strong. Carrying around your toddler all day who wants to be held and only by YOU. Lifting your suitcase off the carousel at baggage claim (am I the only one who gets a huge HEAVY tag on my bag every time I travel??). Bringing in all the grocery bags in one trip.
Resistance training will make ALL of these things and so much more easier for you.
So, who’s heading to the gym today and going to wander into the weight room?! I hope it’s YOU.
I am LOVING my ZYIA Active clothes for working out! Click here to check out my online boutique!
In this post I’m wearing—–>