So…did you say no to soda last month? I sure hope so!
I can’t even believe we only have 3 more months until 2014 is behind us. I hope you are feeling healthier and finding that these small changes each month are making a difference.
This month our goal is to do more strength training! Before we talk logistics, lets talk facts.
Lifting weights used to be something considered only for guys, and most people when they thought about lifting weights they just thought about the massive men walking around the gym benching 300 lbs. I have news for you – that isn’t what strength training is for the majority of the population, and strength training is definitely for EVERYONE! Here are some of the benefits:
– It helps you lose fat: While most people only consider cardio to be the fat burning king, strength training actually allows you to burn fat even after working out because muscle burns more than fat.
– It increases your metabolism: By increasing muscle mass your body uses its calories more efficiently.
– It will help tone your body: We don’t all need to be massive body builders. But you will get more definition and tone in your body by lifting than by doing cardio.
– It helps you sleep: A study published in the International SportMed Journal suggests that morning resistance training or high intensity training greatly affects the quality of sleep and lengthens the time of sleep the night after training.
– It not only helps muscles but is also great for bone health: As you age, you are at risk of losing both bone and muscle mass. Postmenopausal women are at a greater risk for osteoporosis because the body no longer secretes estrogen. Resistance training is an excellent way to combat loss of bone mass, and it decreases the risk of osteoporosis.
– It helps your brain: Resistance-training studies on older adults show that moderate intensity weightlifting improves memory and cognitive function.
These are just a few of the benefits. Have I convinced you yet?
Now is the time to decide how you will incorporate strength training into your month. If you are new to strength training, start with using your body weight and doing a strength workout with just your own weight. If you are more experienced, try to fit in 2-3 strength sessions a week hitting different muscles groups each time. You can divide up days according to upper body and lower body, or even chest & triceps; back, biceps & shoulders; and then lower body.
To determine how much to lift you can use this base:
– For more endurance muscle building do 3 sets of 12-15 reps
– For more strength muscle building do 3 sets of 8-10 reps
BOTH ways of lifting are important an essential. Don’t only try to build endurance or only build strength. By mixing up what you do you will get the most benefit.
And as always, listen to your body and consult a personal trainer or doctor if necessary. Don’t push yourself more than you should or start with a weight that is too heavy. There is nothing wrong with starting small! We all start there sometime!