Talk to 10 people and you'll get 10 different opinions on the best way to get fit. One will tell you to attend an aerobics class. Another will swear by jogging. Yet another will tell you that dance and biking worked for them. The truth is that there's really only one effective way to get fit. Before I get into the details, it’s important that we agree on the definition of 'fit'. Too often thin is mistaken for fit, and that's not what you should strive for.
When someone is thin, but has very little muscle tissue, they aren't truly fit.
Here’s why thin doesn’t equal fit:
Strength training is when resistance is used to challenge your muscles in order to gain strength and endurance. You could do this with traditional weights, exercise bands, medicine balls, cable machines, sandbags, kettle bells or even just using your own body weight.
Top 9 Reasons To Strength Train
1. To Build Muscle and Gain Strength: Don’t worry, ladies. This does NOT mean that you’re going to ‘bulk up’ or look too masculine. What will happen is that your arms, tummy and legs will become tighter, leaner and more defined.
2. To Lose Fat: When it comes to losing size, all that you want to see go is fat, not muscle. Strength training ensures that you maintain and grow those muscles and only lose fat.
3. To Build Strong Bones: The older we get, the more important our bone density is. A good strength training program is one of your best defenses when it comes to osteoporosis.
4. To Alleviate Anxiety, Stress and Depression: Sure there are plenty of pills out there that claim to give these benefits, but you and I both know that strength training is more wholesome and effective way. And besides, who really wants pharmaceutical side effects?
5. To Sleep Better: Here’s another pill you can stop taking once you start strength training. Study after study have proven that strength training improves sleep.
6. To Improve Chronic Back Pain: If you are one of the millions across the globe who suffer from back pain then you’ll love the benefit of lowered pain.
7. To Improve Insulin Sensitivity: Today diabetes is a huge threat. Minimize your risk by improving insulin sensitivity through regular, challenging strength training.
8. To Improve Good to Bad Cholesterol Ratio: Here is yet another pill that you could potentially stop taking while on a strength training routine. Blood pressure and heart health are of utmost concern, so why not give yourself the advantage of a strength training routine?
9. To Raise your Metabolism: This helps to reduce body fat and to keep that body fat off, even on the days that you aren’t able to exercise. Pretty awesome, right?
A solid strength training routine will tone your legs, lift your buns, strengthen your core, and will result in inches and pounds lost.
Dr. Tony Tanzi: Physical Therapist, Triathlete, Runner, Performance Coach