Strengthening your muscles is an important part of improving fitness & aid in weight loss. Beginning strength training makes muscles stronger & can helps prevent injuries and some chronic problems, such as lower back pain. Just like cardio exercise, with strength training, your body uses stored fat and carbohydrates as fuel. An additional benefit of strength training is that it helps you maintain your weight loss since muscle burns three times more calories than fat does. Strength training can range from something as simple as lifting a can of tomatoes to working out with weight machines to performing Olympic lifts.
Strength is increased when a muscle has to work harder than usual. Helpful ways to begin strength training include simple strengthening exercises include using your body as resistance, like lifting your arms and legs, leaning against a wall with your legs bent, or pushing against a stationary object.
Weights can also be used for strength training. Hand and ankle weights are inexpensive and can be purchased at your local sporting goods store. But if you don’t have weights handy, you can use household items such as canned goods or plastic bottles filled with water or sand.
When you first start strength training, choose a weight that you can lift 15 times comfortably without feeling tired. When you can lift this weight 20 times, increase the weight by two to five pounds for small muscles or 10 to 20 pounds for large muscles.
For the first month, lift these weights eight to 12 repetitions (reps) then rest around one minute. After a month, try to do an additional set (lift the weight eight-12 times, rest for one to two minutes, then lift them eight-12 times again). Finally, weight train no more than three times per week and rest at least one day between workouts. And, don’t forget to warm up and cool down!
Benefits of Beginning Strength Training
Weight-bearing work increases bone density and slows bone loss.
Strengthening fights the weakness and pain of aging or arthritic joints.
A stronger frame reduces your risk of falls.
Lean muscle tissue burns more calories and fat to aid in weight loss.