If you’re like me, and like to get the most bang for your buck, lift weights. I like to do the littlest amount of work for the biggest amount of gain, no this is not laziness, it’s called efficiency! There are so many benefits of strength training it would be silly not to do it. It will help you lose weight faster, be more insulin sensitive, sleep better, increase your mood and confidence, and increase bone mass, which is super important for women.
By doing strength training and lifting weights, you can increase your metabolism by up to 15%! This is a huge part of being able to keep extra weight off. By increasing your muscle mass you will burn more calories, even while you are not working out! Also, by becoming more insulin sensitive, you will not get as high of a blood sugar spike which leads to better energy throughout the day and less storing of body fat.
According to Glen Gaessar, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at the University of Virginia, “Exercise is essential because muscle is the biggest tissue in the body, making up 30-40 percent of body mass. It’s the major site of glucose (sugar) disposal. Inactive muscle is not as sensitive to insulin.”
By using your muscles, you are allowing the glucose to be used for fuel instead of being stored on your behind!! This is probably the most important thing you can do for insulin resistance.
If you are having difficulty getting good sleep (that doesn’t have to do with a little one waking you at night!) one of the best things you can do is exercise, especially in the morning out in the sunshine. People who exercise regularly fall asleep more quickly, sleep more deeply, awaken less often, and sleep longer. And exercising outside in the morning will help set your circadian rhythm and will actually make your body produce more melatonin in the evening.
Increased Mood and Confidence
Exercise, specifically weight baring exercise, has been shown to be just as effective as medication, if not more, in treating depression. With all the nasty side affects of prescription medication, why not just do some exercise and have the added benefit of looking better, being healthier and having more confidence!
Increased Bone Mass
This one is especially important for women because we are at an increased risk for osteoporosis. According to a study conducted at Tufts University that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk for fractures. This happens by the body depositing calcium where it needs to go, in the bones. This may be one of the reasons why strength training also lowers your risk for heart disease, because the calcium does not build up in your arteries instead.
By strength training you are going to change your body shape for the better. You are not just going to shrink to a smaller version of yourself. Women shouldn’t be afraid of lifting weights. It will not make you bulky! Unless you really overdo it and are taking some kind of performance enhancing supplement. To achieve optimum health, I believe doing weight baring exercises are necessary. Yes you can go on a crash diet and maybe lose 20 pounds, but you still might not really be healthy. [Tweet ” Being skinny is not synonymous with being healthy!”]
So if you want to look hot, sleep like a baby, and be healthy, make sure you are doing your strength training!!
What about you? What benefits have you seen for yourself from exercise?