Lift Weight to Lose Weight
Our metabolism slows down as we age, increasing our belt size and the resulting weight can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and several forms of cancer that are associated with obesity. But, you can do something about it before it's too late!
Most of us have been told that weight training does not burn as many calories as aerobic exercise (running, step-benching, treadmill, walking, biking, swimming, etc.). Therefore, many who want to lose weight will focus on aerobics for cardiovascular exercise, while missing out on the many benefits of weight training.
Don't misunderstand; cardiovascular exercise is essential to long-term health but it is important to understand that it does little to offset our slowing metabolisms as we age.
Past age 30 or so, most people start losing muscle mass. Because muscle is so metabolically active (which means it requires a lot of calories to do its thing), a drop in muscle weight means your body needs fewer calories. Cardiovascular exercise, although good for burning calories, does not beef up muscles the way weight training can.
To implement a consistent strength training program, do the following:
- Do some weight bearing exercises two or three days a week, and be sure to work your entire body.
- Be patient. It may take several months to see the desired effect but remember that benefits begin within 2 weeks...working they way outward.
- Challenge yourself. Use a bit more weight than you think you can handle, to make muscle tissue stronger and denser over time. Most beginners go too easy.
- Have a qualified personal trainer evaluate your regime. You do not have to join a gym. Trainers are widely available and can set up a home program for you.
If you are new to weight lifting, consider our easy to follow manual, Working out With Weights.
Would you believe that you can over-exercise and if you do, you can actually make your muscles smaller? It's true! When you exercise your muscles, you create micro-tears in your muscles which build back even stronger while you're at rest. If you don't give your muscles rest, they won't repair themselves and get stronger. It is true that maintaining or developing lean muscle will increase your metabolism, so you don't want to give it up, but you don't want to over-do it, either. Listen to your body when it's tired and sore and give it rest. Tearing down more muscle tissue will only slow down your metabolism and slow down your fat loss!
You may also find of interest...
- Top 18 Benefits of Weight Training
- Using Free Hand Weights
- Exercising with Therabands
- Basic Exercise Guide for the Healthy Adult
Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.