You’ve hit a fitness plateau. You’re working out every day but still seeing slim results. This has happened to so many of us and let’s just say it can be BEYOND frustrating. You’re putting in the hours, where is the fat loss? This phenomenon is so much more common than you can imagine and often the cure is simple: switch up your routine. There are so many different ways to workout and often we find a routine that is comfortable and stick with it to a T and still expect to see something happen. The problem is your muscles get used to this movement and no longer have to work as hard to get to the finish line. For many women this can often happen in the way of sticking solely to cardio. And while cardio, i.e. running, biking, eliptical, does have benefits in weight loss, it doesn’t do much for our muscle mass which is how we are going to boost your metabolic burn for days to follow. I was a cardio dominant exerciser for years and although I never got fat I also didn’t see the results I wanted in toning up and decreasing belly fat. While cardiovascular work is incredibly important for oxygen and blood flow, helping fend off cardiovascular disease, add years to life and combat stress, there is huge support in incorporating strength training into your regime as well.
Here are just a few reasons you should add at least 2 strength training workouts to your routines:
- Muscle definition is beautiful! I know many women in particular can be worried that strength training will bulk them up, but trust me it takes a lot of hard work for people to get to that point! If you are consistently adding strength training you will see definition and toning, and little bulking unless you are working hard for those results. While cardio will help you lose weight, lifting will help you get toned and tight all over!
- Your metabolic basal rate is the calories that your body burns by simply existing. Since muscle takes more energy to maintain, the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn throughout your day by doing nothing. For every 3 pounds of muscles you have you burn an extra 120 calories per day by just sitting around! Sign me up!
- Strength training burns calories long after the workout is finished. After your workout is done your metabolism is spiked 12 hours to a few days after your workout. The more intense the workout the longer the burn will last!
- Functional training will help prevent injury. Many of the movements in strength training are ones that we use in our every day lives. They will help you to lift, squat and rotate without future injuries. It also helps to lengthen and strengthen tendons and ligaments, decreasing the impact of wear and tear we put on our bodies every day.
- You still get the endorphin boost! Working out of any kind leads to less stress, anxiety, better sleep and lower risk of depression.
- Workout anywhere. If I don’t have time to hit the gym, I make my own circuit at home and all I need is my weights. Using moves that work many body parts at once will get you even more bang for your buck! Try resistance moves, deadlifts and burpees to rev up your workout.
- Protect your bone density. Any weight lifting or strengthening type workout will increase or maintain bone density, lessening the risk or fractures or breaks. This a huge benefit as we grow older!
The list could go on and on, but I think you get the point. I really can’t emphasize enough the benefits of adding a few sessions per week. Personally I love running. It is what got me into health and wellness in the first place and it is my sense of calm during a busy week. I will never give up running, but I have noticed a huge shift since beginning to regularly implement strength training into my routine. I am more fit, more energized, sleep like a champion, eat more and have more confidence. Get started today, I promise you won’t regret it.