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How Can Strength Training Benefit Me?

Strength training such as lifting weights, using resistance bands, and even using your own body weight, can help you to gain strength and build muscle. More muscle means a higher metabolism. Your metabolism is how your body breaks down food and transforms it into energy that your body needs. Some people are genetically inclined to burn it quickly and some burn it slowly. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, which means more calories burned at rest, even when you are not exercising. This is often why men may lose weight faster than women when they go on similar diet plans. Not only will you be burning calories while you are strength training, but you will be burning calories while you sleep. And, aside from helping with weight loss, strength training can improve your bone density, which can help to prevent osteoporosis, or weakening of the bones, as we age. Not to mention that improving strength can also help us to be more efficient in our daily lives, i.e. lifting groceries, carrying luggage, etc.

A decrease in muscle tissue will lead to a decrease in the number of calories you need each day to maintain your weight, making it much harder to control your weight. Should you do JUST strength training exercises? NO, cardio and stretching are just as important. It is important to prioritize all modalities into your lifestyle. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, light strengthening exercises are advised 2 times per week. Begin with light weights at 10-12 reps. Once this tolerated, then you would increase to medium weights at 12-15 reps and sets.

~Nichole Barras, BS, CPT, CLC

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