Strength Training VS. Cardio
Ask yourself the following questions: Are you super busy, but still desire to be fit and strong? Are you hesitant to lift weights for fear that you’ll “bulk up”? Do you struggle with whether you should lift weights or keep gutting it out with your cardio routines? Do you find yourself slimming down with your cardio, but are still not getting the shape you desire? Do you struggle with believing that your body can change?
If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of those questions, then please know that you’re not alone! I’ve been there too! I want to encourage you to think differently about fitness, and about strength training. The results you will receive from adding strength training to your fitness regime, instead of just cardio alone, is beyond comparison. There are many reasons why strength training is beneficial. I’ve listed the top 6 reasons to help motivate and encourage you. These tips will help you to keep pressing on in your hard work. Or, if you’ve never tried it, to begin a fresh new approach to fitness.
1. Strength training helps you reach your goal much faster.
Do you want results fast? Do you need to keep your workouts concise and within a certain time frame each day? Strength training means more calories burned, which means better results faster. Put simply, the more muscle you have, the less cardio you have to do. Strength training can boost your metabolism by 15 percent. This can really jump-start a weight loss plan. The results can increased motivation as you see your body changing more quickly.
2. Strength training helps to keep the weight off for good.
Not only does strength training help in shedding those unwanted pounds, it helps maintain weight loss too. A recent study revealed that women who followed a weight-training routine 3 times a week increased the amount of calories burned in normal daily activity (in addition to those burned during exercise), helping them to maintain their current weight more easily. Seriously, I cannot think of a woman who wouldn’t want that! Talk about multitasking at it’s finest.
3. Strength training protects bone health and muscle mass.
After teenage years, both men and women begin to lose about 1 percent of bone and muscle strength every year. “One of the best ways to stop, prevent, and even reverse bone and muscle loss is to add strength training to your workouts,” advises Troy Tuttle, MS, an exercise physiologist at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. I’ve recently seen this first hand! One of my closest friends is in her mid 30’s. This past summer she was told that her bone density was that of an elderly woman. What did her doctor recommend? Strength training. She just saw her doctor again in November and learned she has reversed her diagnosis of early bone loss! In less than 3 months she has restored her bone density to that of a normal 35 year old! Her doctor was cheering and high-fiving her as they celebrated the new results.
4. Strength training helps you develop better body mechanics.
Do you struggle with balance? Do you feel uncoordinated? Has your posture become worse over the years? Strength training helps with each of those things and reduces the risks of falling. If you’re a mom like me and there are little people always at your feet, then this should matter to you a lot! Strength training will help you not only carry your kids more easily but help you avoid falling when you trip over one of them!
5. Strength training changes your body shape, rather than creating just a smaller version of you.
Have you ever known someone who has lost a lot of weight but appears almost gaunt? This is due to the lack of muscle being exposed once the fat is gone. To be honest, I have been that person. After losing the baby weight from each of my pregnancies, I would return to my pre-baby weight only to look in the mirror and see no muscle or definition. Strength training gives curves to the “right” places. Strength training also helps to lessen the curves in all the “wrong” places. Strength training gives you the shape you desire, revealing toned definition and feminine muscles as the fat melts off.
6. Strength training boots energy levels and improves your mood.
Here again, I cannot imagine a woman saying no to this! Strength training helps to elevate your level of endorphins (natural opiates produced by your brain), which will make you feel amazing. Endorphins have been shown to be a natural antidepressant, to help you sleep better, and to improve quality of life. As a mom with endless demands I can tell a HUGE difference (as can my children) when I am training well and when I am not. With strength training I am better able to handle my responsibilities both physically and emotionally. I know this season is the craziest and busiest of the entire year, but there is no better time than now to put a plan together.
Use the next few weeks to get a plan in place and start your new strength training program with the new year!
About The Author:
Meg is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, and now resident of Southern CA. She is mom to five young children. Meg is a writer, dreamer, pastors wife, entrepreneur, Labrada Athlete Ambassador, and a sucker for anything girly. Meg is an ex-track, cross country, and marathon runner. She is also a self-taught weight training fanatic. Meg is someone who loves to encourage women, especially moms, to pursue fitness in order to serve those around them to the fullest. This past fall Meg began a blog to share with women more ways to balance life, and exemplifying what it looks like to be a mom to five young kids all while managing the home, schedules, health, nutrition, and fitness.