Running and biking are great forms of cardio when getting fit, but if you really want long-lasting fat loss, reach for those dumbbells! According to a study from the University of Arizona, postmenopausal women who followed a progressive muscle and fitness strength-training program for six years prevented weight gain more so than those who did not. Even more interesting; those who performed the least amount of squats gained significantly more weight than those who adhered to the exercise over six years. While this study targeted women only, everyone can find health and fitness benefits in resistance training.
The benefits of putting your fitness first by doing resistance muscle and fitness training are endless. Resistance training increases bone mineral density, which slowly decreases as we age. It improves strength and mobility for sports and activities of daily living, lowers blood pressure, and most importantly, increases lean muscle mass and decreases body fat. For your overall muscle and fitness health, it’s an absolute must. Decreasing body fat can help reduce your risk of other weight-related chronic diseases while an increase in lean mass will in turn boost your metabolism, creating a lifetime of good health and fitness.
Now, what exactly do I mean by resistance and how much? Resistance can be body weight, resistance bands, suspension training, or good ol’ dumbbells and barbells. To achieve the ideal muscle and fitness physique, The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 2 days of resistance training per week, completing 8-12 repetitions of 8-10 different exercises. These recommendations complement cardiovascular exercise when getting fit, which should be completed 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week, for good health and fitness. This is a great place to start, but based on your goals the frequency and intensity of your resistance training sessions can be adjusted. Cardiovascular exercise should always be a component of your routine, but if you want to spend more time pumping iron than running, be sure to give your muscles time to recover allowing 48 hours between sessions working the same muscle groups.
Next time you’re at the gym getting fit and staying healthy, grab those dumbbells and start building those muscles. In the end your muscle and fitness regimen will give you the body you’ve always wanted and the confidence that goes with it.
Disclaimer: Before starting any new exercise program, talk with your doctor. If you have questions on how to complete new exercises, look into getting a personal trainer to show you the ropes. For more health and fitness tips from Andrea Cota email her directly at email@example.com. She is also available for fitness consultations, private and small group training sessions.