The following is a Guest Post via Elizabeth Scala
Healthy bodies for everyone! Today I write about a topic I really enjoy: Strength Training
Lifting weights, strength training, weight training, or resistance training- whatever you want to call it. According to Wikipedia, strength training is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles.
Unfortunately for our female readers, many women overlook the significance of strength training. We tend to focus on cardiovascular exercises such as walking, running, or spending time on the elliptical machine. Why is this?
Strength training can be intimidating
Lifting weights can make us sore. We may not know how to do it; never taught proper form. We may adhere to the myth that we are going to “bulk up” and gain weight. The list goes on and on. But let’s let go of our attitudes, beliefs, or feelings around strength training and open up to the possibility that it is a great source for us to shape into our healthiest body yet!
What are some of the benefits of strength training?
• Significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being;
• Increased bone, muscle, tendon and ligament strength and toughness;
• Improved joint function;
• Reduced potential for injury;
• Increased bone density;
• A temporary increase in metabolism;
• Improved cardiac function; and
• Elevated HDL (good) cholesterol.
We can all benefit from strength training. It can help with our posture. It can make it easier for us to be on our feet all day. Resistance training can help with back pain. Being able to push, pull and lift becomes easier.
Another benefit that I like to speak to is the fact that resistance training helps with metabolism. The great thing I learned from my trainers at my gym is that lifting weights helps you while you are doing it… and afterwards as an added bonus!
When you build muscle, you increase the amount of lean tissue on your body. A body with more lean muscle mass burns more calories- even at rest. For this reason, experts recommend that we include strength training as part of a weight loss workout program. You don’t have to be bulky and muscular, but a toned frame is more likely to have an proficient metabolism.
So how do we do this? Well, this is a question with an enormous amount of possible answers. And to be quite honest with you, since each of us is a unique individual with our own personal body shape, type, and history- we’ve got to take it slow and listen to our bodies.
One thing’s for sure- you don’t want to strength train every single day.
When you do exercises that break down muscle you need a day in between to repair them. So one thing I can say is strength training can be done 2-3 times per week. My recommendation would be if you’ve never done this before, find someone to help you learn. And enjoy yourself!
The fastest way to any healthy habit is to have fun.
About The Author:
Elizabeth “Coach” Scala, MSN/MBA, RN is passionate about helping individuals to embody holistic living and embrace self-care. Through her business, Living Sublime Wellness, she writes regularly on the topic of self-care, conducts wellness workshops, and offers both in-person and online seminars for busy professionals.
Elizabeth is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach and holds Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Master’s degrees in both Business and Nursing. Originally from Carmel, NY, she now lives in Baltimore, MD with her husband and two dogs. Visit http://www.elizabethscala.com for more information.
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