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Lift Weights to... Lose Weight?

Posted Sep 12 2008 11:50am
Many adults looking to shed those last few pounds sign up for aerobics classes, go on daily jogs, or take their bikes out for a ride. Although these are by no means bad decisions (any exercise is a good thing), they are missing out on a crucial component to weight loss -- weight-bearing exercises.

As a general rule, the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns to simply maintain it.

One reason why we need less calories as we age -- apart from our metabolism slowing down -- is that we lose muscle mass with time. Thus, the body burns less calories on a daily basis.

Many women fear that doing weight-bearing exercises will turn them into Arnold Schwarzenegger with breasts, which could not be more far from the truth.

Rather than do a few repetitions of heavy weights, doing 15 to 20 repetitions of a bearable weight will help tone muscles and eventually help the body burn extra calories. As an added bonus, this will also help with bone density issues -- a key component in the fight against osteoporosis!

Even better, weight-bearing exercises help your metabolism burn calories efficiently for several hours after you're done.

To really help your body burn calories, follow weight-bearing physical activities with cardiovascular ones.

Remember, watch out for sports/energy drinks that are basically giving you the same amount of -- or more! -- calories that you just burned off.
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