While it is true that diet, *ahem* Catered Fit, is the most important factor in your health and in any weight loss regime, exercise benefits cannot be overlooked. Many people, especially women, who are new to working out tend to be afraid of lifting weights for a number of reasons. They may think they’re going to look silly doing exercises wrong, that they’re going to “bulk up”, or that they might injure themselves. There’s plenty of people that may not even know why they should be lifting weights. They believe cardio is the only important form of exercise, but boy are they wrong! Here are a few benefits to regularly lifting weights:
First things first – mood! A healthy body promotes a healthy mind. All types of exercise releases endorphins. These endorphins are chemicals produced in our brains that fight pain, reduce depression, and enhance your mood, thus reducing anxiety and stress. Additionally, as you progress through your fitness journey, your body will make all kinds of improvements, discussed below, and when you feel good about your body, you’ll generally be more happy and confident.
Weight training has great mobility benefits. You can correct bad posture by strengthening your back, shoulders, and core. Correcting bad posture will prevent lower back, neck, and shoulder pain that can become chronic and debilitating in old age or if you’re stuck at a desk for 8+ hours a day. Weight training also increases strength in connective tissues and joints. Healthy joints, ligaments, and tendons are crucial to prevent injury and relieve arthritic pain. Not only will you enjoy increased mobility and reduced risk of injury and pain, you’ll also strengthen your bones. Weight bearing activities increase bone density reducing your risk of fractures and broken bones, as well as decreasing your risk of osteoporosis.
Now for the fun stuff. When you weight train, you are building your muscles by creating tiny tears that your body repairs. As you add more lean mass, you increase your metabolism. Studies have shown that for every pound of lean muscle gained, you burn an extra 35-50 calories per day. That’s potentially 18,250 extra calories burned per year just by adding one pound of muscle! Additionally, after a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout, your metabolism is raised for the remaining 24 hours after your workout due to Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC. Great news, weight training is a HIIT workout! You exert a large amount of energy getting through your set, then you take a short break bring your heart rate back down and repeat.
Pro tip: Eat Catered Fit, keep your weight training short and intense (i.e. 30 minutes of fast paced challenging work), then finish off with 20 minutes of steady state, low impact cardio. By doing this, you’ll take advantage of your post HIIT super metabolism and combining it with steady state cardio that is great for your heart and burns a high percentage of fat. With all this healthy eating, muscle building, and calorie burning going on, you’ll be a lean, pain-free machine in no time. Happy lifting!