Why You Should Be Strength Training
You probably know that strength training or resistance training has a lot of benefits, but it can be intimidating, especially if you haven't done it before. What exercises should I do? How do I know if I'm doing them properly? How much weight should I be lifting? Do I need to take rest days?
I get it, I used to be a cardio queen, I would run 4-5 days a week, cycle on the other days and throw in an occasional yoga. That worked well, in my 20's. I was lucky enough to not suffer any major injuries from overtraining but I noticed I didn't recover quite as easily or would feel sorer after a long run.
When I was in school for my degree in Nutrition & Exercise Science, I started learning about the benefits of strength training and how they actually impact day-to-day life. I got my personal training certification and started working with clients. Not only was I seeing changes in my clients, but I was programming for myself and seeing huge improvements in my balance, stamina during workouts, recovery, and self-confidence. I was hooked.
Strength training is great, especially for tracking progress. Progressively lifting heavier and heavier weights or being able to do more push-ups, hold a plank for longer, squat deeper, help you stay on track, and measure your progress.
Perhaps the biggest benefit for me has been in my daily life. Never did I imagine I'd be carrying around a 25lb weight with one arm for 15 minutes while cooking dinner. Or lifting said 25lb weight in a hiking backpack onto my back with one arm. Carrying that backpack with strong back muscles and legs on long hikes.
For me, motherhood has been the ultimate test of my strength training, and because I put in the time and energy, I can keep up with my active life and feel strong and powerful doing it. And flexing my biceps in the mirror from time to time doesn't hurt either.
If you need a few reasons to take the plunge, check out all these other benefits you can get from regular strength training. This doesn't have to be intimidating, you can start with bodyweight, you just need to work against some resistance.
If you're unsure or have any questions - get in touch! I'd love to create a unique program for you!
Top Reasons to Strength Train
1. Stronger bones - Strength training puts a unique and positive stress on bones by stressing the muscles involved. This can help increase bone density in the long run and prevent fractures later in life.
2. Increase your metabolism - While cardio is great for many reasons, strength training is great for building more muscle. More muscle has the ability to increase your metabolism unlike cardiovascular exercise, and will help you burn more fat, even at rest.
3. Sleep better - All exercise, including strength training has been shown to increase sleep quality in participants. Exercising each day should make it easier to snooze once you hit the sheets at night.
4. Make your heart happy - Along with cardiovascular exercise, strength training has been shown to have benefits for the heart including lowering blood pressure.
5. Get out some stress - Lifting weights and throwing around heavy stuff can be extremely therapeutic and often shown to alleviate stress and anxiety for those who participated on a regular basis.
6. Live Longer - Strength training has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and those who gained more overall strength were more likely to live longer and live independently.
7. Do everyday things easier - Strength training makes it easier to lift that heavy box, carry the groceries into the house in one trip and even simply get up from a seated position. Being stronger will translate to all areas of your life.
8. Improve your balance - Since strength training continues to challenge the body in new ways and develop essential core strength, you will see better balance in all your exercises and in your daily activities.
Are you ready to get started? Fitness is available for everyone, you'll never regret taking the first step, so get out there. You might surprise yourself at what you're capable of.