Here are three important reasons for you to pick up some weights and make yourself stronger.
It’s a fact: strong is in. A toned, muscular and functional body has become the new sexy for both men and women. The growing acceptance by the media and sportswear companies that beauty comes in many shapes and sizes is a positive step toward encouraging people to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.
Best of all, a healthy body, which may come in different shapes and sizes, will never go out of fashion. Have you heard of the term ‘skinny fat’? This is when someone may look thin, but in actuality they have an unhealthy internal body-fat ratio that is detrimental to their health. There are also many people who may look a little larger, but are actually very health internally. With any exercise plan, your main priority should be to benefit the inside of your body. But as a bonus, exercise benefits your external appearance as well.
The following are important reasons why you should add weight and strength training to your regular fitness routine.
By lifting weights and becoming strong, you’ll change every aspect of your body. People with increased muscle mass burn more calories at rest than those without. It takes more energy for your body to sustain lean muscle and, therefore, your resting metabolic rate may increase as a result of lifting weights.
Weight-bearing exercise is very beneficial for bone health in people of all ages. The aging process is linked to a decrease in bone density and a greater risk of fractures. So, consider how you can add weights to your workout, because your bones rely on resistance training to stay healthy and strong.
If your body gets used to lifting weights, imagine how much easier just lifting your own body weight will be. Improved strength means that your daily activities will become easier, and if you’re training for a sport, an increase in muscular strength can significantly improve your performance.
Becoming stronger has so many benefits, and you don’t need to be worried about looking like an out-of-proportion body builder. Unless you’re dedicating hundreds of hours to lifting heavy weights and following a very specific body-building nutrition plan, the chances of you getting bulky are slim. Adding weight training to your routine two to three times a week and eating a protein-rich diet will have you well on your way toward achieving a healthy muscular physique. Also, don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights. But do make sure that you start out with manageable, lighter weights so that you can focus on technique for 12-15 reps and slowly work your way up to heavier weights. As you increase the weight you’re using, decrease to 8-10 reps.
Your body will start adapting to weight training right away, so get started today.
Samantha Clayton is responsible for all activities relating to exercise and fitness education for Independent Herbalife Members and employees. Through in-person training sessions, educational tools and materials, and her blog (www.discovergoodfitness.com), she ensures that the important role of exercise as part of a healthy, active life is understood by all. She also helps create, organize and promote employee fitness programs and activities as an integral part of the company’s corporate wellness program.
A native of Liverpool, England, Samantha initially worked as a consultant for Herbalife for two years and led the Herbalife24-Fit program, the company’s first comprehensive fitness training program and DVD series.
Before joining the corporate ranks, Samantha was a professional athlete. She represented Great Britain in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in both the 200m and the 4x100m relay events. Prior to the Olympics, she won two medals in the Olympic AAA trials – a silver medal for the 200m and a bronze for the 100m – as well as a silver medal in the 4x100m relay during the European Junior Championships in 1997. Her personal records include 11.40 seconds in the 100m and 23.02 seconds in the 200m.
Samantha is a personal trainer and group exercise coach through the American Fitness and Aerobics Association (AFAA) and International Sport Science Association (ISSA).