I have been asked this questions a lot recently. And as a former “cardio junkie” myself. I decided to share my discoveries with you. Prior to Beachbody, I strongly believed that doing cardio was the best way to lose weight. I would rollerblade, jog, and use the elliptical. The only “strength training” I would do consisted of ab workouts, which at that time meant an insane amount of crunches. Did I lose weight? Sure did! And I looked better in clothes. But I was “skinny fat” and still a bit too jiggly to feel comfortable in a bathing suit. So there I was “cardioing” my life away, still not truly comfortable with my body. Did I enjoy exercising? Not at all! I was always athletic, but never a big fan of cardio, like ever.
Fast forward a couple years, a little older, a little wiser. I have one word for you….Weights!! Cardio is great, really it is, it does amazing things for our bodies and we all should do it regularly. However, add strength training, and you’ll never go back to cardio alone.
“Wait? Strength training? Weights? No thank you, I don’t want to get bigger!“
Sound familiar? I too used to think the exact same thing. I would not lift anything heavier than five pounds weight wise I now lift much, much heavier weights! Guess what? I wear smaller jeans now than I did then. I am here to tell you once and for all that lifting weights will not make you big, or masculine, or any other negative association you can think of. Lifting weights will however make you lean, literally and figuratively. Building muscle boosts your metabolism, the more muscle you have in your body, the faster your metabolism. A faster metabolism means? That’s right, your body burns more calories, even while you sleep!
Okay, so we have established why strength training is beneficial to your physical appearance, but we haven’t yet covered the best parts.
Other benefits of strength (weight) training…
The most obvious, you get STRONGER! And not just your muscles, bones too! Can you say Osteoporosis? The earlier you start training with weights, the less your likelihood of developing an age-related bone condition. Interesting! Strength training improves joint stability, which makes you less susceptible to injury, especially as you age. And there are psychological benefits as well, the gaining of physical strength has an empowering effect. The process of setting and achieving personal goals gives a boost to self esteem and self confidence!
Personally, I appreciate having more muscle in my body because it makes my life EASIER! As a busy mommy of a toddler my days can be physically strenuous, let’s face it, toddlers are heavy, and they move fast. Prior to adding strength training, or exercise rather, to my daily routine as a mommy, I struggled with back issues. I was always in pain and my shoulders and back were constantly in knots. Having a baby, or small child, requires A LOT of bending, holding, carrying, rocking, etc. Otherwise known as, “I could really use a massage!” Since building muscle I no longer deal with back pain and even though my daughter is getting heavier by the day, holding her is now a much more enjoyable experience.
Another awesome bonus, I have better posture! Yes, I was a sloucher, for as long as I can remember actually. These days I walk (and sit) a little taller, totally unconsciously too!
Best part, discovering muscles you didn’t even know you had, and literally transforming your body! Yes, there are times that I find myself standing in front of the mirror smiling, because I am finally proud of the body I achieved. When you step out of your comfort zone, amazing things happen, I know. If you are serious about changing your body message me to find out more about my Upcoming Challenge.