Resistance training provides benefits to men AND women

Published 6:51 pm Thursday, March 1, 2012

Resistance training is all over the televisions, magazines and newspapers.  Fortunately, more and more people are finding out the benefits of resistance training.

In the past, we have been told cardiovascular, or aerobic, exercise is best.  Only “big” men were in power-lifting contests lifted weights.  Women were scared of “getting big” like the men and were told time after time to only do aerobic exercises.  Luckily, within the last couple of years, the popularity of weight lifting/strength training shifted to include women.

The following are answers on why to lift weights:

• Increased bone density: Resistance training increases bone mineral density.  This   helps in the prevention of osteoporosis.

• Improved body composition: Weight training increases the percentage of lean body mass.

This is a positive considering more than 50 percent of Americans are overweight.

• Increases metabolism: For every pound of lean muscle mass gained, it’s estimated that metabolism will increase 30 to 40 calories.  That’s a pretty good deal.

• Improve functioning capacity: Weight strengthening is not just for big body builders.  Weight training helps the average person with everyday tasks such as lifting groceries, doing housework and carrying grandchildren.

A few good strategies to start your weight program:

• Ask questions: Go to a place such as the YMCA with knowledgeable staff to help with the machines.

• Start light: Do not go crazy right off the bat.  Start light and get used to the weights.

• Have a program: Set goals (short, mid and long term).  Have a personal trainer design a program to meet your needs.

• Lift slowly: Lifting quickly will only help develop momentum.

• Learn how to adjust the machines: This is a key component for lifting properly.  A trainer can demonstrate how to set the machines to your body.

• Do not give up: Everything takes time.  After a couple of weeks, change the routine.  Your body gets used to what it is doing.

By changing it, you can trick your body and see results again.  Changing the routine also combats boredom.

With all of this in mind, there isn’t any reason we all shouldn’t be doing resistance training.

Still keep up the cardiovascular and healthy eating routines.

This might seem like a lot, but imagine how much better you could feel.  For all of us who are too busy, you can do a beneficial routine that includes resistance and cardiovascular training in one hour.

Not a big price to pay for your health.