The goal of any weight loss plan is to consume fewer calories and burn more calories. When it comes to working out many dieters get started with cardio exercises and stick with it.
There is no doubt that cardio exercises like walking, hiking, running and. swimming have a positive effect on your heart health and have the ability to help you burn calories. There is an often overlooked method of training that burn fat and calories while increasing muscle mass. Strength training is an effective way to boost metabolism and burn a larger amount of fat and strengthen your body.
Benefits of Lifting Weights
There are tremendous benefits of lifting weights. Adding resistance training to your workout not only changes the look of your body, it improves your overall health.
- increase insulin sensitivity
- builds lean muscle mass
- increase resistance to blood flow
- strengthen the heart
- promotes fat loss
- lowers cholesterol
- lowers blood pressure
- increases bone density
- improves flexibility
- builds confidence
- helps lose inches
- helps lose weight
According to Dr. Mark Williams of Reuter’s Health, “resistance training increases muscular strength, endurance, independence and ability to perform a large variety of activities.” Lifting weights at the gym is a practical way to build muscle and better prepare your body for daily activities. Many of the activities done on the free weights actually mimic movements done on the job, moving furniture, picking up your kids and a list of other ways you move everyday.
Strengthen the Heart with Resistance Training
The benefits of weight lifting go beyond physical strength. According to the American Heart Association, moderate weight lifting offers big benefits for those with heart disease. Cardio health is increased by adding some resistance training to your workout routine.
You get big points for creative weight lifting. Pulling a weighted sled, for example, not only works to strengthen your hamstrings and quads, it is also very effective at raising the heart rate. Comparatively, it is more effective at burning fat and strengthening the heart than spending an hour walking on the treadmill. Look for ways to build interesting lifts into your routine to avoid boredom and increase the powerful benefits of weight training.
Combine Cardio and Weight Training
The best way to burn more fat and calories is to do a combination of cardio and weight training. As you progress, you’ll need to adjust your intensity and the amount of time you spend on both activities to get the most from your workouts. A good way to set up your routine is to alternate cardio and resistance training on different days. While you can train your abs every day, most muscles need a day in between to rest. Rest days are good for scheduling your cardio.
As a word of caution, consult a professional or hire a trainer to get started on a weight lifting program to perfect your form and avoid injury.