Six months down, six to go. Congratulations, you are halfway through the Sparkling Hill Healthy Lifestyle Challenge. Now isn’t the time to give up! Hopefully you have been able to keep up and are seeing some positive changes to your health and well being.
As we move into the summer, for many of us, our focus shifts to the beach and how our bodies look. Good news for you… if you have been keeping up with the challenges (getting active, sleeping better, and fixing your nutrition) you are ready to take the next step. In June, our next health challenge is to:
Lift Something HEAVY
Now this doesn’t mean you need to start lifting cars! But… you should be challenging yourself when you exercise and incorporating resistance training is an excellent way to maximize the benefit of exercise.
Here’s why you should be adding resistance training to your exercise regimen:
- WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
- Burns more calories during exercise when compared to aerobic training alone.
- Creates a caloric deficit meaning you continue to burn calories even after you have finished training.
- Boosts metabolic rate – muscle cells require more energy to maintain vs. fat cells, so you burn more calories on a daily basis.
- Muscle holds its shape better vs. fatty tissues; improving your physique.
- PREVENTION OF CHRONIC DISEASES
- By making the muscles around a joint stronger, the joint becomes more stable, and prevents the breakdown of joint tissues and the onset of arthritis.
- Promotes a different blood flow pattern to the limbs vs. aerobic activities, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Adds stress to your bones, triggering osteoblast (bone building cells) activity to prevent Osteoporosis.
- IMPROVES MOOD
- Can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Self esteem is boosted when you look, move, feel, and perform better.
- INCREASES STRENGTH
- Stronger movements paired with improved balance leads to fewer injuries.
- IMPROVES SLEEP
- Building and maintaining muscle takes time and energy, this happens mostly at night while you sleep, promoting a deeper sleep.
- ENHANCES SEX DRIVE
- Testosterone levels rise during resistance training directly affecting your sex drive.
Now that we are excited to start resistance training, how do we begin? Firstly you should be aware that resistance training is not just reserved for lifting weights at the gym. There are many different types of resistance training including: resistance bands, free weights, TRX, kettle bells, and strength machines; even bodyweight exercises (like squats, lunges and pushups) are forms of resistance.
Finding what works for you is just as important as implementing the training.
Being engaged about exercise rather than just going through the motions just because someone told you to, will lead to more consistent training and more benefits!
The amount of resistance you should use is up to you. Again try to challenge yourself when possible. Trying to exercise each major muscle group at least twice a week
is a good start and can be achieved in different ways. Some people prefer to exercise the entire body each time; others may prefer to work upper body one day and lower body another day… etc. Remember the goal is to start incorporating resistance training, as part of your healthy lifestyle, NOT to become the Incredible Hulk. Try starting with shorter and slower workouts
as to avoid injury or other setbacks. Injury during training is one of the most common reasons for people to drop out
. Recovery is important too, so make sure to have at least one recovery day between resistance training sessions. As you become more accustom to resistance training you can start to progress into longer and more intense workouts, if you choose so. Just make sure to keep an eye on proper form rather than speed or weight.
Resistance training not only builds muscle but can prevent disease, improve mood, and really help you lose weight!
*For any further information on resistance training or advanced exercise programs;
Please consult with a certified Kinesiologist or Personal Trainer.