[this was supposed to go up yesterday for W.O.W…but that didn’t happen…so Happy Thursday!]
I started incorporating strength training into my workout routine about 2 years ago, and switched to almost exclusively strength training about a year ago. I’ve seen a lot of changes, and I am still learning a lot. What I have learned -interestingly enough- is the long term health benefits are HUGE.
- As you get older your body naturally begins to lose muscle mass. By building a foundation of muscle when you’re younger- you will maintain more muscle mass over time, which means more strength as you get older.
- Higher metabolism- the more muscle mass on your body, the more calories your body will burn with out doing A THING! [Muscle cells naturally use more energy to keep functioning than fat cells]
- Stronger muscles= easier to do daily tasks (lift babies, carry in groceries, etc)
- Muscle is more dense than fat (takes up less space). Therefore, with more muscle- at the same weight- you look smaller. [although it is a misnomer that muscle weighs less than fat. 1 lb = 1 lb]
- Corollary evidence says more muscle = better bone/skeletal strength (Mayo Clinic Study)
- The best way to get that tight and “toned” look! Doing only cardio leads to a “skinny-fat” body composition. By adding in strength training (weights or body weight) you can still shed fat, while also building muscle, which leads to that tight look.
- Bonus: endless cardio is not fun! More variety = less boredom
While the physical/asthetic benefits keep me working out, I really love knowing that my hard work now is leading to a longer, healthier life (and more importantly- a good quality of life, free of chronic disease).
Now tell me…why do YOU work out?! What keeps you going back for more?