Strength Training for Fat Loss & Overall Health
Updated: Nov 30, 2022
Strength Training/Lifting weights, generally is not given much emphasis in any of the weight loss programs. There is always an invisible barrier between the cardio and weight section at the gym, specially women. Women fear of becoming “manly” with huge bulky muscles or not wanting to become “stiff” or inflexible. Just to make it clear, women cannot gain huge bulky muscles like men simply because we lack the right amounts of testosterone (male hormone).
Thanks to decades of research, if you want to be healthy and strong, you might not want to spend all your time at the gym just doing cardio. (1) There is an incorrect assumption that burning calories will also lead to burning fat and doing ‘cardio’ is the only solution. But, that’s not totally true. In reality, strength training is the most effective type of exercise to reduce body fat percentage and it is important to distinguish the difference between weight loss and fat loss.
Two or three, 20-30 minutes of strength training sessions every week can result in significant health benefits
1. Increased muscle mass:
Muscle mass naturally decreases with age, but strength training can help reverse the trend. The more we maintain our muscle mass as we age, the lower the risk of injuries
2. Increases calorie/fat burn:
Lifting weights will allow you to burn more energy at rest. This is because muscle burns more calories at rest, including fat.(2)
3. Weight loss:
As you gain muscle, your body begins to burn calories more easily, making it easier to control your weight. With consistent weight lifting, you’ll have less belly fat and more lean muscle mass. Reducing belly fat will also help you reduce your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol & diabetes.
4. Stronger bones:
Strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of fractures as we age.
5. Joint flexibility:
Strength training helps joints stay flexible and can reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
6. Improves heart health
Because strength training increases lean muscle mass, it results in less pressure on your arteries, which helps reduce the chances of heart-related problems. With consistent strength training, you’re likely to stay heart healthy for years to come.
Strengthening exercises can increase flexibility and balance as people age, reducing falls and injuries.
So, grab a set of heavy weights and get ready to hit the gym or your own workout space, because regular strength and resistance training is more important to your health than you might have realized. (3)
Of course, what you eat is a vital piece of the pie. The best action plan is having multiple approaches, so fuel your body wisely with the best & healthy foods. Build an exercise routine with balanced mix of both cardio and strength training which will help you improve overall health.
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