With the weather still warm, and lots of us spending most of our time outside, Health, Wellbeing and Fitness expert Steve Denby gave us an interesting tip for anyone looking to keep fit and lose weight.
Don’t Stop Resistance Training IF You Want to Lose Weight!
With all this nice weather, you may be tempted to forgo your resistance training and head outdoors for some aerobic exercise in the fresh air. But beware: if you give up your resistance training, you will be giving up more than you bargained for.
Why resistance train?
Resistance training is critical for true fitness. Without it, your muscles will atrophy. If you aren’t building muscle, you are likely losing it.
And if you are 20 or older, you are definitely losing muscle, unless you are working hard to build it. Beginning at age 20, we begin naturally losing muscle mass every decade.
The old liché holds true for muscle mass: if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Here are some of the benefits of resistance training:
- Stops muscle loss and helps begin the rebuilding process.
- Makes daily acttivites easier, from carrying groceries to rearraging your furniture.
- Gives you a sculpted look.
- Increases bone density, giving you a strong, stable skeleton.
- Improves balance and coordination.
- Prevents decay of the pads between your bones, so that you do not hurt when you move.
- Causes the tendons to grow deeper into your bones, reducing the chance of tearing.
- Builds muscles which will burn more calories, even while you are resting.
- Reduces blood pressure by making your heart stronger.
- Increases your metabolism.
- Decreases blood sugar, which helps prevent insulin resistance (the precursor to diabetes).
- Improves your aerobic capacity: the stronger your muscles, the better your endurance.
- Gives you a general feeling of wellness and strength. If you are strong, you feel strong.
- Makes you a better athlete: there is no substitue for strength!
- Prevents the weak, frail “skinny-fat” look.
- Raises your energy level. The more muscle you have, the less effort you have to exert and the more energy you have available.
- Secures future protection against falls and fractures. If you age with dense bones, strong muscles and good balance, your risk of injury plummets.
- Creates 22% more afterburn than aerobic exercise does. (Afterburn refers to the fat and calories that your body burns in the hours after you have finished your workout.)
Still tempted to give up resistance training?
Why aerobic exercise is not enough
“But,” the question goes, “Can’t I just go for a run and build muscle? I’m using muscles when I run!”
The answer is NO! Running or other aerobic exercise is not a replacement for resistance training. They are different exercises and provide different benefits. Aerobic exercise does not deliver the needed stress to your bones, muscles and tendons.
In order to build strength, you have to pull hard on tendons, do microscopic damage to your muscles and literally bend your bones. Going out for a run or putting in an hour on the treadmill will not do this sufficiently.
This is not to say that aerobic exercise is not important: it is! But it is not resistance training. You need both. And if you omit one, you do your body a great disservice.
Don’t give up your resistance training just because you are eager to get outside. There is no substitute for lifting heavy weights 2 to 3 times each week. Your health is on the line. GET AFTER IT!
Steve Denby is a personal trainer with over 25,000 hours’ one to one coaching, knowledge and experience. He co-founded FLI Fitness which offers classes and personal training in Ashford, focusing on long term health and weight loss. FLI offer Mums in Ashford members fantastic exclusive discounts on Bootcamp classes AND personal training (group and individual).