Guest Post By: Kim Holmes, Personal Trainer and Founder of My Fit Coach
It’s no secret that exercise is good for us. As grown women, we’ve all heard the benefits about a stronger heart, decreased risk of diabetes, better mental health. The list goes on and on. Any form of exercise is good.
As a Personal Trainer, I too want you to find a type of exercise that you love to do. However I AM a touch partial to one particular form of exercise. It is my humble opinion that Strength Training is the single best type of exercise that ANY woman can do. I could go on and on with this one but for the sake of time, here’s my short list of benefits:
1) Increased metabolism
2) Decreased risk of injury
3) Increased Strength
4) Increased confidence with increased strength
5) You’ll look a size smaller…can I get an amen?!!!
While ALL these reasons are great ones to hit the weights, today we’re going to focus specifically on the metabolic benefits of strength training. The truth is that lifting ALL THE HEAVY THINGS will insanely boost your metabolism!
Did that get your attention?!
Let me say it again!
Strength Training boosts your metabolism! And Here’s how:
What if I told you there was a way to burn more calories every single day by simply sitting on the couch? Would you be in??? I sure would!
Performing regular strength training activities 2-3 times a week builds and maintains lean muscle mass. By adding just 1lb of muscle to your frame, you increase your metabolism by approximately 35-50 extra calories a day. In addition to this, your body will be incinerating even more calories up to 40 minutes after you’ve put down the dumbbells.
It’s important to note that muscle mass decreases as we age and therefore, our metabolism starts to slow down. This is a situation that we can prevent. It is never to early OR late to hit the weights.
Why Cardio alone isn’t gonna cut it…
For all my cardio lovers out there, I’m not asking you to stop especially if you love your daily run. I get it! I AM however suggesting that making a few small adjustments to your fitness routine could have a significant benefit to your health and weight loss efforts. If you’ve been struggling with weight loss but are still doing hours and hours of cardio each week, you may wanna listen up.
When you do long sweaty cardio sessions (think 60 minutes and up) your body releases extra cortisol, the hormone responsible for fat being stored right smack dab in your belly. In addition to this, too much cardio can actually break down your muscle mass thus decreasing your metabolism. This literally breaks my heart!
Muscle is metabolically active tissue. We want to increase our muscle mass and do everything we can to preserve it. This is where our good pal strength training comes in.
So what’s a girl to do about a workout?
I recommend starting with a full body strength training workout 2-3 times a week and 2-3 shorter interval based cardio sessions.
I train my Online clients with workouts ranging from 25-35 minutes and they still see amazing results when combined with a healthy eating plan. The reason it works is that they are increasing AND preserving their muscle mass (thus elevating their metabolism)
The other reason this works is because the workouts are shorter. By working out for shorter periods of time, you stress the body less, keep the excess cortisol monster at bay and keep those hormones in check.
So how do I start Strength Training???
You really don’t need a lot to get started on a Strength Training Program. You don’t have to have a lot of fancy equipment or even a gym membership for that matter.
Simply put, strength training or resistance training is the act of exercising your muscles using opposing force. The opposing force can be dumbbells, barbells, resistance bands or even your own bodyweight. It doesn’t have to be fancy. And the good news is that you can reap the benefits by strength training only 2-3 times a week.
In Fact you can do this ALL from your very own living room!
Exercises like squats, lunges, pushups, tricep dips and planks are a great way to get started and you don’t even have to leave your house. If you have some dumbbells you can add in some bicep curls and shoulder raises or tricep extensions to shake things up a bit.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can also work one on one with a Certified Personal Trainer or look at your local gyms Strength based fitness classes. You can also check out Online Options like My Fit Coach’s Just Sweat Program to take the guesswork out of the whole thing.
Let’s get Going
Now that you know all the benefits of strength training and are pumped to get your metabolism firing on all four cylinders, let’s get this party started. Don’t make it too complicated. Just start where you’re at, stay consistent and the results will come in no time.
If you wanna get started RIGHT NOW (who can blame you?) you can download my FREE 5 Days to Fit Jumpstart Program and get instant access to 5 days of Home Workout Videos and a energizing meal plan to help you boost your metabolism today.
These 30 minute (or less) videos teach you the correct strength training technique to decrease injury and maximize your muscle tone. Plus they’re fun AND short so they get the job done as quickly as possible.
Happy Metabolism boosting!
Kim Holmes is a Personal Trainer and the Owner of My Fit Coach. She helps busy Moms care for their bodies (and minds) through Online Fitness and Nutrition Programs. As a Mom of two young sons, she understands that you don’t have hours to spend at the gym. Her Online Programs are efficient, fun and most importantly, they make fitness fit into your REAL life.