I realize that in the past I was all about doing a lot of running. But how about strength training? Running is nothing too difficult, but strength training is tricky for me because I want to do something that is effective. So I decided to do some research and share my findings of why it is important.
In addition to cardio exercise, you also need to work with weights. You may be thinking, weights? But I don’t want to be a body builder! Strength training, or weight training as it is also known as is an important asset to being in shape. For me, I think having toned arms shows that you’re fit and not only that you’re active and health wise, but good for you! Diet, cardio and strength training are important to lose fat, thus seeing results in fat loss. Strength (also known as weight) training builds muscle which burns fat, and the more muscle you have the more fat you lose. Also keep in mind that you cannot just lift weights to lose fat, which is also known as spot reducing (working out one part of your body and expect results).
There are three areas to strength train for your body – lower body (glutes, legs, calves), upper body (arms, shoulders, chest), mid section (abs, hips)
The Importance of Strength Training (for people who want to be shape)
Tones and shapes the body for weight loss and personal appearance
Improves and builds strength to our body as a whole, functionality and balance as we get older
Assists in physical therapy during recovery from an accident or hospitalization
Prevents diseases such as obesity, osteoporosis and diabetes
Improves performance in sports, increasing strength, power and endurance
Equipment to strength train
If you’re at the gym most of your equipment is already there. You should also have which I refer to “the essentials” – water bottle, towel, and proper shoes and clothing for strength training.
If you’re at home, in addition to having the essentials, you can simply use dumbbells. Other things that you should consider having is a yoga mat for floor exercises or a towel and a fitness ball, otherwise known as a swiss ball. There are many variations of exercises you can do even with your own body weight, so keep that in mind that you don’t even need special equipment to strength train but to improve toning and provide a challenge, dumbbells are definitely recommended. You can find many deals here on Amazon if you’re on a budget. Walmart is another place to buy dumbbells which are very inexpensive.
Strength training, just like cardio exercise is important in your everyday weekly workouts. They balance your exercise routine and variety is good to keep your body guessing. Believe it or not, if you do the same thing all the time, your body gets used to it and doesn’t work as hard, thus results being minimal. So challenging yourself is not only essential, but its good for your wellness of being able to do something you never thought you could.
Also keep in mind that you should do warm up stretches before strength training and cool down as well to prevent soreness.