Once we find an exercise we like, we tend to stick to it. For you, this could be a combination of running and dancing, or pilates and boxing. While these powerhouse cardio combos are great, you should be mixing them with strength exercises. Here’s why…
Reason #1 You’ll burn more calories
There is a common misconception that lifting weights will make you ‘bulky’ and bigger. That’s a myth! Strength training can actually make you slim down faster, because the muscle you’re building is more metabolically active in the body. So the more muscle you have, the more kilojoules you’ll burn – even when you’re not working out. How good is that?!
Reason #2 You’ll get stronger
After just a few weeks of strength training, you’ll no longer need your boyfriend/hubby/neighbour to open your jars for you. Research shows that moderate weight training can ramp up a woman’s strength by 30 to 50 per cent. That’s huge. You don’t have to do it every day either – 2-3 days a week is enough to make a difference.
Reason #3 You’ll improve your health
And in more ways than you think. Resistance training has been shown to decrease blood pressure, improve balance, reduce lower back pain and boost blood flow and circulation. Plus, The Journal of American Medical Association found that postmenopausal women could ward off joint degeneration (osteoporosis) and gain bone density by doing resistance training. Of course, if you’re over the age of 55, you should chat to your health practitioner before starting a strengthening regime.
Top tips to remember:
- Always bend at your knees when picking up weights.
- Keep your spine neutral and try not to place unnecessary strain on your back.
- Breathe in during the easiest part of the exercise, and out during the hardest.
- If you experience joint pain of any kind, stop immediately and revise your technique. You should feel a burn when doing weights, not a sharp or stabbing pain.
Start strength training
Along with the great reasons listed above, recent research has shown that strength training can also help to decrease depression. So to encourage women across Australia to give strength training a go, Fernwood Fitness have launched their Lift The Nation campaign, and are opening up all their clubs for FREE from August 20-26.
So if strength training sounds like something you’d like to try, you can register your interest at liftthenation.com to receive priority access during this time.
Have you ever tried strength training? Did you know it had so many benefits?