Hitting the treadmill to shed the excess pounds? Rather than just spending hours doing cardio, perhaps you should also add in some weight training to your fitness regimen. Why?
Here are 5 great reasons to start lifting weights:
1. You’ll burn way more calories than cardio (and for longer)
While cardio is great for burning calories when you’re exercising, your EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) stops the moment you get off that treadmill. This means you stop expending energy the moment you’re no longer working hard. Weight training however, is a whole different story. As your weight training intensity increases, your EPOC duration increases because your body needs more time to return to its pre-exercise state. This means you’re burning up your calories long after you’ve stopped lifting those weights.
2. You’ll look great naked
Most people think that if you’re pumping iron you will become big and bulky. This is perhaps the biggest misperception towards weight training. If looking like Hulk is not your intention, you will not get there without going on special diets and taking specific drugs.
The simple fact is that muscle is denser than fat. It’s the same reason a 1kg loose sack of potatoes looks much bigger than a 1kg vacuum-packed flour. If you weight train, you’ll increase your muscles which replaces the fat. The result will be a firmer, leaner and sexier body, even if you lose no weight.
3. You’ll get stronger bones
Weight training helps strengthen the muscles surrounding your bones. The stress from the weights also increases your bone density and decreases risks of osteoporosis. A study showed that older women who did weight training two days per week for a year were able to increase their bone density by 1%, while another group who did not exercise had their bone density decreased by 1.8% to 2.5%.
4. You’ll have better body coordination
If you regularly weight train, you’ll be improving your balance and body coordination. How? By working out all your muscles regularly, you avoid muscle imbalances (ie: one leg stronger than the other). This means that when you get older, the chance of accidentally falling flat on your face is lowered.
5. You can lift heavy stuff without wheezing away
Need to replace the water at the cooler? Overweight babies to hoist around? Carrying groceries home? All of these will be zero problem for a weight training regular. Weight training strengthens and tones your muscles by contracting them against a resisting force (ie: by doing a push up or lifting weights).
Weight-training goes hand-in-hand with a good diet to fortify your bones. See the 6 superfoods you can munch on for super bones.
What are your favourite weight-training exercises? Share the love in the comments below so others can benefit too!