January has come and gone. Oh, and so has February…. March is upon us and you know what that means? Summer will be here before you know it! Ok, maybe it won’t be here quite as fast as we’d all like. Personally, I am sick of all this snow, and shoveling, and trying to find a new place to put the snow… Anyway, speaking of shoveling how has your exercise routine been going? I bet you started off really strong after the first of the year and maybe even for the whole month of January, that’s awesome! But, then February happened… and the first big snowstorm caused you to miss your workout. No big deal, you’ll get back to it tomorrow. One day off can’t hurt, right? But then friends wanted to go to a happy hour, so you missed two days…in a row… that was the start of it, and now you haven’t been to the gym in 3 weeks. Crap. Now you don’t want to go to the gym at all. How did that happen?
Here is what I think happened. You picked the wrong kind of exercise, and you didn’t have a way to keep you accountable. I am a big supporter of strength training and accountability. I think it is the most beneficial form of exercise that the average person isn’t doing, but should be. And, everyone needs some kind of accountability to be successful with their fitness. BUT, I don’t think that strength training is something that everyone loves to do, and while I understand that, I think that is where people go wrong. They avoid lifting weights either because they don’t know how, or they are scared of what it will make them look like (yeah, I’m talking to you, ladies…).
A lot of people that start an exercise routine for a New Year’s Resolution of weight loss just get their gym membership, and immediately hop on that treadmill, elliptical, or stair stepper. While these pieces of equipment definitely have their place in a fitness routine, they aren’t going to get you to the body of your dreams. Plus, the more you lift weights, the more food you’ll be able to eat. Isn’t that what everyone wants?!?!?!?! I know I do! I’ll get into the why of that in a minute. But, to be blunt about this if you are only doing cardio when you go to the gym, you are failing. You will probably be disappointed in your “results” and most likely quit, or binge eat because “what’s the point, I’m not getting in shape anyway…” Nutrition obviously comes into play here too, but that’s going to be our next post (so stay updated by joining the newsletter).
So, why do you need to lift weights?
Because I said so, duh… Jk, you don’t have to listen to me. You can do whatever you’d like, but if you want to be healthy, and have great longevity to your life, then you should really start lifting heavy things and putting them back down. Not only does it get you stronger and build more muscle mass, but it also helps to build strong bones. According to a study done at the Harvard Medical School “strength training, in particular, has bone benefits beyond those offered by aerobic weight-bearing exercise. It targets bones of the hips, spine, and wrists, which are the sites most likely to fracture. ” (If you want to read the summary of the study here is the link to it Harvard Study)
Here are a few more benefits of Strength training in regards more to weight loss:
- You burn calories for longer during the day (even daysssss) than if only doing cardio.
- You build more muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the more your metabolism can increase (that means you can eat more food! Eventually…we’ll save that deep dive for another day(.
- It increases your body’s ability to push blood around. Your blood pressure, and heart functionality improves and becomes more efficient. This puts les stress on your heart in the long run.
Those are just a few of the many benefits of strength training. If you do a quick internet search of “Strength training vs. Cardio” you’ll will find many more benefits and reasons to incorporate strength training into your routine.
With all that being said, I’m not saying strength training is the only thing you should ever do. There are many benefits to many different kinds of exercise. My favorite, and the type I think is the most beneficial for the average joe like me and you is lifting moderate to heavy weights on a regular basis. But if you truly hate lifting weights, I get it. My suggestions to you, and to everyone, is to find a mode of exercise that you can do for a long time. Like, forever. Because if you quit every other month you will never reach your goals, and no one wants to do things that they can never achieve success at.
So, while I encourage you to start picking up heavy things. My biggest encouragement is just to keep going. Don’t quit. Some is better than none, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. You just have to do it. Consistently.
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