There are numerous benefits of strength training besides the obvious. Consistant efforts with strength training can help with weight loss, blood pressure, bone density, and so many more great things for your health!
Strength training is such a great way to give yourself a healthier you! Here are a few of the best benefits this type of exercise can give you.
Increases Bone Density: A study at Tufts University discovered that strength training not only increases muscle mass, but bone density as well. The research showed that women who lifted weights did not lose any bone density, but actually gained about 1% bone mass in their hips and spine. This was radically different than non-exercising women, who actually lost 2% to 2.5% of their bone mass during the same period of time. This is a great thing for us women who tend to slowly lose more and more bone mass over the years.
Helps With Weight Loss: While aerobics only increases your metabolism during the exercise, weight training not only raises your metabolism, but keeps it elevated by about 15% for up to two hours afterwards! To take advantage of this great new find, try weight training for 20-30 minutes, then move to something aerobic, such as running on a treadmill, or an aerobics class.
Counteracts Depression and Sleep Loss: Yep, you heard right! Strength training can also help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, a study at Tufts University says. In this study 6 out of 10 people had less trouble sleeping at night. As for depression, after 12 weeks of strength training three times a week, 14 of the 16 people no longer met the criteria for clinical depression and felt better.
Strength training also helps people age more gracefully, feel better about themselves, and gain the confidence they deserve.
Now that you know some of the amazing benefits, I hope you are eager to get started! There are many strength training routines out there, so be sure to find one that works for you, if this particular one does not. The important thing is to work out and tone the areas you want to fix the most. Are your arms a little flabby? Are your thighs a little cottage cheese looking? Although weight loss is a major part of making these body parts thinner, strength training will help you tone and firm the areas you are looking to improve.
With any strength training exercise, try to stick with 10 to 15 reps, and do this three cycles for a total of 30 to 45 reps. If you are looking to lose weight, strength training can help! Your metabolism is elevated for about two hours after strength training, so this would be a perfect time to go do some aerobic exercise and get more bang for your buck when it comes to calorie burning. Below are two different routines, one for at home or at a gym, whichever is your preference.
Routene 1 (Gym)
- 10 Bench Press- you can do the free-weight bench press, as this will also work your coordination and agility, or they have a machine that helps you to just focus on the weight aspect of bench pressing.
- 5-10 Pull ups-This can be tricky for me and my weak armed friends, but have no fear. There is a machine at the gym that helps you work on your pull up by lowing your weight that you have to pull up, so you can start low and work your way up. If that does not work, you can hold yourself in a pull up position for 30-45 seconds.
- 15 Squats- Our good friend the squat! Try doing 10 squats with a body bar. You do not have to put weights on it until you are ready.
- 15 Lunges- Be sure to not let your knee touch the ground, and do 15 on each leg!
- 10 Push Ups- There are machines to help you slowly increase the weight you can do a push up with, or you can try pushups against the wall. Either way, work on those arms!
- 10 Lat Pull Downs- This is an excellent machine at the gym that can really help condition and tone your arms.
- 10 leg curls- Find a machine that works your thighs and another that works on your calves. One you sit as if in a chair, and the second you lay down on belly down. These are excellent leg toners!
Once you have completed this circuit, start back at the beginning and do them 2 more times. If everything is located in the same room, this exercise should take 25-35 minutes.
Routene 2 (Home)
- 10 push ups- regular or wall push ups
- 10 dumbell curls per arm -use a weight size that feels comfortable or waterbottles filled with sand.
- 30 seconds of arm circles with dumbells in hand. Put your arms straight out like a scarecrow and make tiny circles for 30 seconds.
- 16 Reverse Crunches
- 30 crunches
- 30 seconds plank
- 20 squats
- 15 lunges on each leg
- 1 minute wall sit - lean against the wall as if in a chair with your bottom level to your knees.
Complete the routine and start it over again 2 more times. This work out should take 25-35 minutes.
Have a Happy Workout and be sure to drink plenty of water!