14 Reasons To Incorporate Strength Training Into Your Routine

April 23, 2013  |  
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A lot of women focus on the cardio aspect of exercising in order to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. While cardio does serve its purpose and has proven to be helpful in helping women lose weight as well as strengthening the heart and the entire cardiovascular system, cardio isn’t the be-all end-all of exercising. When it comes to working out efficiently and effectively, it’s best to switch up your routine. To do this, add strength training to your routine a couple days a week. If you’re unsure that strength training is for you, here are 14 reasons that just may persuade you to pick up some weights.

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You’ll get a toned body

Cardio will help you lose weight, but losing fat without building muscle can leave you looking a little soft and flabby. If you want a toned and lean body, you’ll want to start lifting weights. Just know that if you do decide to try strength training, you will not become super bulky and huge. Your body will just be toned and fit.

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Higher fat burning

The true key to losing fat is weight training. Various studies have shown that weight training purely burns fat, as opposed to cardio which burns fat along with muscle. Losing muscle will reflect on the scale, but not in the mirror, and in the end it’s really the mirror that matters most. If you’re geared towards losing just fat, pick up some weights.

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Stronger bones

As we age, we all suffer from bone loss, which is why so many elderly people suffer from fractures and broken bones. To help battle severe bone loss, lift weights. Studies have shown that weight lifting and other types of strength training exercises increase bone density and elevate osteocalcin levels, which is key to bone growth.

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Increased flexibility

Flexibility and weight lifting go hand-in-hand. As time passes, it’s common to lose flexibility. However, by lifting weights, you will become much more flexible, especially in the shoulder and hip region. This means that bending over and squatting down become a lot less straining on the body.

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You burn more calories doing nothing

It’s been widely proven that the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn doing absolutely nothing. Doesn’t it sound appealing to be able to sit down and watch a movie and know that you’re still burning plenty of calories? This doesn’t mean that you have to be huge and bulky. Building just a little bit of muscle can send your metabolism through the roof.

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Stronger muscles

It goes without saying that by doing strength training, you’ll have stronger muscles. Having stronger muscles means that when you start to age, you’re less likely to experience a huge decrease in strength in power. You’ve surely noticed how aged and heavier people have a harder time getting up or lifting something. This is because their muscle and muscle fibers are weakened. This can be remedied with weight lifting.

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Healthier heart

By lifting weights your blood is sure to be pumping in no time. Having a healthy blood flow throughout your body increases the health of your heart as well as the rest of your cardiovascular system. With healthier blood pressure levels, you are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular conditions including heart attack, stroke, and heart disease.

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It’s effortless

One of the perks to lifting weights is that it doesn’t require a trip to the gym or a lot of space. Weight lifting also doesn’t require any type of specialized equipment such as a treadmill. Instead, you can buy weights from the store and have them in your home forever. Aside from lifting weights, you can also do body weight exercises to add strength training into your routine.

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Your clothes will fit a lot better

A pound of muscle takes up a lot less space than a pound of fat does. When it comes to weight lifting, it’s very likely that you’ll lose inches even though you’re building muscle. With an increased muscle mass, your clothes will fit much better. The worries of a muffin top and back rolls will be a part of history.

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Lower your risk of diabetes

Strength training is ideal for lowering blood-sugar levels in those with and without diabetes. Lifting weights can help prevent diabetes altogether since you’re able to keep fat gain at bay as well as improve your sensitivity to insulin. This means that your blood sugar levels should remain within reasonable and healthy guidelines. This is important since African American women are at high risk of suffering from diabetes.

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Less chance of injury

Strength training gives you a stronger body overall, including stronger muscles, bones, and joints. This means that when you’re doing yard work or some other type of strenuous activity, you’re less likely to injure yourself. While you still may be sore at the end of the day, you’ll likely not be injured.

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Everyday tasks become easier

Lifting heavy grocery bags without asking for someone else’s help? No problem at all! Bringing in that huge box that the delivery man brought? No sweat. By incorporating strength training into your routine, everyday tasks become a lot easier. You’ll definitely notice it too!

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Better sleep

Believe it or not, strength training will actually help you sleep better at night! Of course exercising will drain you of some of your energy, but weight lifting has been linked specifically to better sleep. Studies have said that those who lift weights are able to fall asleep quicker and sleep soundly for longer.

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Reduced risk of cancer

Cancer isn’t a health condition that anyone wants to deal with, and while it’s sometimes out of our hands, strength training can help lessen your cancer risk. By lifting weights, your body’s cells will experience less oxidative damage. Damaged cells can lead to various types of cancers, so the less damage, the better off you will be.

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