Why Cardio alone just doesn't cut it!
Exercise. When I ask most women what kind of exercise they do, at least 75% tell me they walk, jog, run, bike, or participate in some type of cardio class. Very few tell me they lift weights. And they are missing out on an important part of a good fitness program.
Step in to any health club or fitness center and you will find the treadmills, ellipticals, bikes and stair climbers in almost constant use and most of these machines are occupied by women. Check out the free weight area, and though a few women may be utilizing the space, most often this area is filled with men.
Why? Well, when I ask women why they don't lift weights, many tell me they don't know how or that it is intimidating. Understood. Some tell me they just don't like it and prefer to jog. OK. And then some tell me they don't lift weights because they don't want to bulk up. Really?
Of course, as with all things, when we aren't sure what we are doing, beginning something new can be daunting. Many fear looking foolish, others understand the inherent risk of lifting weights improperly, and some have absolutely no idea where to begin. Weight lifting is a completely new concept.
When I train clients, I seldom spend much time doing cardio with them. Of course, there are exceptions, such as those training for a race or those who are brand new to exercise and trying to improve their endurance. What I do most often is teach people how to lift weights. Why? There are many reasons.
Obviously, if a client has never lifted weights before, I can help him/her learn about the equipment, what muscle groups to work, what proper form looks like, and how to integrate strength training into his/her program. As clients new to strength training learn, practice, and progress, they become more comfortable, confident, and able to follow a program to help them improve their strength and reach their goals.
But what about those who jog, bike, or walk an hour a day? Isn't that enough? Of course those activities are great for improving endurance and burning some calories, but they are only a part of a complete fitness program. Walking, jogging, and biking all utilize lower body muscles, but what about your upper body?
And what about your core strength? If you perform these activities properly, they may help maintain and/or improve your core strength. But what if you lack core strength and spend hours each week walking, jogging, or biking? Poor core strength often translates into poor posture and poor posture while engaging in any of these activities can quickly lead to muscles aches, strains, and imbalances. Before you know it, your upper back is rounded, you have lost shoulder mobility, and you are suffering from low back pain.
A well-designed strength training program can correct and/or prevent muscle imbalances, allowing you to enjoy your favorite activities pain free. Done properly, strength training can reduce pain, improve flexibility and balance, and reduce your risk of injury.
Strength training is also important for every day life. Getting up stairs without becoming breathless, carrying grocery bags without throwing out your back, and getting up off the floor without excessive effort all depend on your strength.
In fact, as we age, strength becomes one of the primary determining factors of our ability to take care of ourselves. Weak muscles increase fall risk, increase your risk of fracture, and may even contribute to an increased risk of Type II diabetes and cognitive decline.
Many assume that weaker muscles are a normal part of aging. Yes, aging may bring loss of muscle tissue, but it is not inevitable. Sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle mass, can be prevented or reversed and the only known way to do that is through strength training.
Muscle mass begins to decline after age 30, but accelerates as we get older. Each year we get progressively (but often unnoticeably) weaker unless we do something about it. Our bodies do not remain the same - as the years go by, they can get weaker or they can get stronger. Your body today will be different in one year. How different is up to you.
Strength training also offers many other health benefits including:
* Improved bone density and a reduced risk of osteoporosis
* Increased metabolism and improved ability to maintain and/or lose weight
* Reduced risk of many chronic diseases
* Reduction of signs and symptoms associated with many chronic diseases
* Improved pain management
* Decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression
* Lowered risk of injury
* Improved cognitive function
* Elevated energy levels
* Increased mobility and flexibility
The importance of strength training to maintain good health is unquestionable. The only question is - why aren't you doing it?
Thanks for reading! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
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If you would like more information about starting a strength training program, visit my site www.cinergydynamics.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Better Health, Better Life, Better You!