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  • Writer's pictureivydames

Strength Training or Cardio?

Ah, the age-old debate. Look, they are both awesome, for so many reasons. I love myself a long run and the endorphins I get from a high-intensity spin class. Your heart deserves to be strong so doing movement that keeps it healthy is important, but if you're a mom, and trying to get back into fitness, you probably don't have a lot of time, so prioritizing strength training is a game changer - here's why.

1. Functional Strength for Everyday Tasks:

From lifting toddlers to carrying groceries, motherhood is a physically demanding job that rarely provides vacation days. When we say functional strength, we mean the ACTUAL strength to do the heavy and hard shit in your life, not just look good and flex in the mirror. Need to carry your kiddo kicking and screaming back from the zoo after they got overstimulated? Refuse to take 3 trips with groceries from the car? Kid demands you carry them on your shoulders or fling them around like a freaking monkey? Pick up some heavy stuff!

2. Improved Posture and Body Mechanics:

Pregnancy and childbirth take a TOLL on a woman's body, usually meaning hours bent over a tiny human and sleeping in weird positions, leading to weakened core muscles and poor posture. Strength training exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, and rows, help strengthen the muscles that support the spine and improve overall posture. Working on these muscles now means that you not only stand up straight now but you're also less likely to be a hunched-over old lady and don't tell me your back doesn't hurt right now. Want it to feel better? Strength training has got your back (literally).

3. Boosted Metabolism and Fat Loss:

While cardio may be the go-to for calorie burning, strength training offers unique metabolic benefits. By increasing lean muscle mass, strength training boosts metabolism, helping burn more calories both during and after workouts. Additionally, strength training promotes fat loss while preserving muscle mass - holla!

4. Bone Health and Longevity:

Look, it's completely unfair the stuff women have to deal with that men don't, and an increased risk of osteoporosis as you age is one of them. What's the answer? Strength training! Weight-bearing exercises like squats and lunges stimulate bone growth and enhance bone density, reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis later in life. By investing in bone health now, you're putting cash money into your mobility and bone bank for later.

5. Mental Health and Stress Relief:

This one is obvious, being a mom is lovely, wonderful, fulfilling, but also overstimulating, overwhelming, and stressful at times. Strength training offers more than just physical benefits—it's also a powerful tool for stress relief and mental well-being. The endorphins released during strength training act as natural mood lifters, helping combat stress, anxiety, and depression. If you're having a bad day, lifting some heavy stuff or throwing a slam ball does wonders.

6. Empowerment and Self-Confidence:

There is just something different about lifting heavy and what it does for your confidence and resilience. As moms see themselves getting stronger, both physically and mentally, they gain a newfound sense of empowerment. It also doesn't hurt to feel like Michelle Obama when you start seeing those arm #gains.

Does this mean you're off the hook entirely for cardio? Heck no! But if you only have time to prioritize one, and you're starting from scratch, body weight or exercises with slight resistance are the way to go. From there, try stacking in a daily walk to get things moving and you'll be surprised to see how much more energy you have and how much better you feel.

Need more inspiration? Hit me up for a custom workout plan!

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