Working on gaining strength has become my foremost priority. Not being able to complete a strength intensity program workout on my elliptical has really opened my eyes. I do 4-5 cardio workouts per week, I also do 3 circuit/weight training sessions a week, so I thought I was doing enough. I know that the body hit’s a plateau after a certain time when dieting and losing weight, but it never dawned on me that you could hit one when just maintaining and trying to stay fit. Here’s the thing, I have not been challenging myself. It’s like I’m just going through the motions without getting the benefit. I need to start hitting the weights and changing up my workouts.
So I started to do some searching on how to change my workout routine and gain some strength. I found this article from the mayo Clinic and It hit home. If you don’t use it, you’re gonna lose it.
You know exercise is good for you. Ideally, you’re looking for ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. If your aerobic workouts aren’t balanced by a proper dose of strength training, though, you’re missing out on a key component of overall health and fitness. Despite its reputation strength training is important for everyone. With a regular strength training program, you can reduce your body fat, increase your lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently.
Use it or lose it
Muscle mass naturally diminishes with age. “If you don’t do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you’ll increase the percentage of fat in your body,” says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center. “But strength training can help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass — at any age.”
Strength training also helps you:
- Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
- Control your weight. As you gain muscle, your body gains a bigger “engine” to burn calories more efficiently — which can result in weight loss. The more toned your muscles, the easier it is to control your weight.
- Reduce your risk of injury. Building muscle helps protect your joints from injury. It also contributes to better balance, which can help you maintain independence as you age.
- Boost your stamina. As you get stronger, you won’t fatigue as easily.
- Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, including arthritis, back pain, depression, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.
- Sharpen your focus. Some research suggests that regular strength training helps improve attention for older adults.
Consider the options
Strength training can be done at home or in the gym. Consider the options:
- Body weight. You can do many exercises with little or no equipment. Try push-ups, pull-ups, abdominal crunches and leg squats.
- Resistance tubing. Resistance tubing is inexpensive, lightweight tubing that provides resistance when stretched. You can choose from many types of resistance tubes in nearly any sporting goods store.
- Free weights. Barbells and dumbbells are classic strength training tools.
- Weight machines. Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines. You can also invest in weight machines for use at home
I guess the best thing to do when you realize that you hit a brick wall, is to tear it down brick by brick.
Question: Do you have any Weight Lifting or Strength Training Tips to Share?
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