Weight training! Music to my ears.
I have grown up in a society, where aerobics was a huge thing. In the 90’s every woman was going to at least 1 aerobics’ class a week. My mom was not an exception and she took me along. I don’t remember much, but I do remember that sometimes we had these circuit training days and I did like those a lot! I am happy to see that the world nowadays is slowly changing and starting to see why strength training is so important and falling in love with it, just like I did.
Why is it important to strength train?
Weight training helps you to keep your muscle mass. Simple as that. Also, studies show that strength training helps you to be more sensitive to insulin, which will prevent a possible diabetes, as well as muscle learn to metabolize glycogen better (use it for energy more effectively) and it might help to regulate the appetite.
What do you get when you increase your muscle mass? You get strength from those muscle and your connective tissues get stronger, meaning, it won’t be so easy to tear them. As connective tissues get stronger, they signal bone structures to get stronger, to be able to hold everything in place – so, your bones become denser and prevents you from breaking them easily. Your muscles use glycogen better to give you energy, so you don’t store it as much (and you get leaner) and you don’t feel that hungry anymore. Do you see what’s happening here?
And those are just few of the changes that strength training does in our body. It also helps to regulate our mood, hormonal system, gives us a relief of everyday stress and (especially for women) – gives the empowerment feeling.
Should you strength train?
Strength training should be the base for everyone. Doesn’t matter if you’re old or young, if you have extra weight or you’re skinny. When you have a strong structure (bones and muscle) – everything you do, will be better for you. Some people, who have some aches and pains fear of strength training, as it seems that it might increase the pain, but if the training is done properly – it will not cause pain or harm . So it really is for everyone.
What about weight-loss?
Many people think that the best way to lose weight – is to do tons and tons of cardio. They go running, cycling, spend hours in aerobics classes or on treadmills. But as the time passes, nothing really changes. Some might feel like they are starting to gain more weight, instead of lose it. What is happening?
Cardio burns a lot of calories while you are doing it. While running, you burn off some of your muscle tissues, to give you energy to run. After you finish your run, your heart rate gets back to normal, you have burnt your glycogen and some muscle, so you want to eat more carbs to refuel your body with glycogen, but you have less muscle, which means that you won’t need as much calories anymore to keep yourself functioning. Do this long enough and your body will downregulate and you will need less calories to do the same work every day. In this case, to lose weight, or even maintain, you will need to cut calories. And life without food, for me, seems very sad…
So I choose strength training. I burn very little calories when I train. But I build muscle and muscles need more energy to keep going. The more I build, the more calories I will need to maintain myself. And I like eating, so I am happier. With more muscle, even as I am sitting here, writing this blog post, I am burning so much more calories, than if I was just running.
All activities require a good amount of skill to perform them, but if you want to invest yourself – start with getting a strength coach and learning the basics. It’s not that hard and it’ll go a long way for your weight loss journey.
Strong is the new skinny, right?