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1. You will lose more body fat then you will on that damn treadmill

Did you know that when you exercise (cardio or strength training) that the calorie burning that is occurring is mostly occurring during the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)? RMR is the number of calories you burn during a 24-hour period independent of your physical activity. Cardio burns more calories during your work out but increasing your lean body mass dramatically improves your RMR. This means strength training will allow you to burn more fat all day and improve body composition overall. Check out this West Virginia University study.

2. You will improve your mood and decrease anxiety and depression

Why do so many of us hate the thought of exercise? Perhaps because the reasons why we are exercising take so long time to see benefits. Mood, however, is instant when exercising. Now, killing yourself and pushing yourself to exhaustion may not make you feel “happy” but if you start out slow and do it the right way you will feel better emotionally. Studies have shown that exercise may be as beneficial as medication in treating anxiety and depression. It should at least be considered as an adjunct to medical treatment.

3. You will improve your cardiovascular health more effectively than you will be jogging on that treadmill

• Some research shows that when it comes to improving certain markers of heart health, strength training may be as good if not better than cardio.
• Lowers Blood pressure
• Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides
• Lowers visceral fat (this is the fat found in the belly and around the heart which is most associated with heart attack and stroke).
• Research shows people who strength train sleep much better. This improves insulin sensitivity, decreases visceral fat, decreases inflammation, and accelerates metabolism. All of which contributes to heart health. The study showed that those that performed their workout later in the day (after 7:00 PM) slept the best. Great article by US News and World Report/Health

4. Decreases cancer risk

Visceral fat not only puts you at an increased risk of heart disease but it also increases your risk of cancer. A 2017 article published in Oncogene highlighted research that showed visceral fat cells produced elevated levels of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2) which is a cancer-triggering protein.

5. Increase bone density!

• Inactivity and inadequate nutrition can contribute to the average person losing approximately 1% of their bone density after the age of 40. That means by the time you reach 50 years of age you will lose 10%. Doesn’t sound like a lot? That is enough to create the perfect storm if you fall or even twist the wrong way. Minor stress fractures to your back can cause pain and a hip fracture can have devastating consequences.
• Strength training can slow the progression and even increase bone density. Walking and/or jogging can increase bone density, but strength training targets the hips, spine, and wrists which are all susceptible to fractures.

6. Decreases osteoarthritis pain

Although the last thing you want to do when your knees are hurting due to osteoarthritis (OA) is to exercise, it may just what you need.  Studies show that strength training significantly reduces OA pain. There appears to be a strong correlation between muscle strength and OA. Improve muscle strength-improve OA symptoms

7. Keeps joints, ligaments, and tendons healthy therefore decreasing risk of injury

Muscles, tendons, and ligaments are the support system for our joints and help our body stay aligned, they are at high risk to get injured with dynamic, complex movements. Resistance training helps increase tendon and muscle strength while increasing the flexibility of the ligaments. This decreases that risk for a tear or strain.

8. Improves glycemic control

Strength training increases glucose uptake and improves the way the body stores glucose. This stored glucose is called glycogen. Exercise improves the way the body stores glucose. Along with the improved fat loss and improving the way insulin works, strength training makes for a powerful addition to managing diabetes.

9. It is fun and so much more efficient than spending all that time on the treadmill

Here I go knocking that treadmill again. Well, the truth is, I just don’t like it. If you do please go for it. You must enjoy your workout and if you enjoy the treadmill then you should incorporate that into your program.

There are many benefits to walking and tons of literature and research to show how great it is. I, on the other hand, detest the treadmill. I like walking outside but the heat in South Carolina can be brutal and I just always feel so time crunched.

I love lifting weights.

I can choose something different for every workout if I want and each session provides enough variation to keep me interested.

There are many programs that offer basic dumbbell workouts all the way up to exercises I cannot even fathom doing yet and using machines that I haven’t learned anything about.

What is nice is that you don’t have to do these workouts every day for them to be effective. 1 to 2 times a week has shown effective increases in strength.

Ideally, you want to perform a regimen 2-3 times a week to get the most benefit.

10. It will turn you into a sexy badass!!

I love the way I feel when I am lifting heavy. I actually think I look better right after a workout. I know it doesn’t work that fast, but I FEEL stronger and sexier.

Its ok that it is in my own mind. That is what really matters anyway right? And just for the record, it will not make you bulky!!

The easiest way to start that takes no effort to learn a new program is to wear a weighted vest. This weighted vest costs under $30. It is not bulky so you can wear it anywhere and at any time.

You can also use wrist and ankle weights. Wear these while you are cleaning the house or going for a walk.

The added weight will increase bone density and help you tone up doing things that you are doing already.

You can do resistance training right at home. Check out these bands and loops with all the accessories. No need t leave the house if you don’t want to and excellent for travel.

Now, some important disclosures.

Weightlifting, if performed recklessly can result in injuries. My recommendation is to get a professional trainer that can show you basic techniques and proper form. Once you feel comfortable with a basic routine you can learn a ton from Youtube videos and online but you need to understand and comply with good form. Start slow and work your way up. Don’t worry about the others in the gym looking at you wondering why you are only lifting with a 10 lb dumbbell. They are there for themselves and so should you. It is none of your business what they are thinking. I will be providing some links shortly to assist you with beginning your strength training journey.

10 Reasons Why You Should Start Resistance Training