I go to the gym 4 or 5 times a week. At least 4 of the days I’m in the gym, I’m there to do weight training. Some days, I do 20 or 30 minutes of cardio in addition to my weight training but most of my gym time is spent on resistance training. While I’m in the gym, I see the same people on a regular basis. Usually women and they are usually running on the treadmill or slaving away on the elliptical machine. Most of the time, the same women who are on the treadmill (or another cardio machine) when I walk in the gym are still there when I leave. Not all, but most of them are in reasonable shape, but if I asked them, I bet they’d say they wanted to lose a few more pounds and that they want to be more toned. I wish I could tell them they will never get the body they want by spending all that time on the treadmill.
Don’t get me wrong, cardio is a necessary component in a healthy lifestyle. But if you’re spending an hour a day doing cardio just to maintain your current weight, then there are probably areas in your diet that need to be addressed. On top of that, there are so many benefits to resistance, or weight, training that you just can’t get from even the best cardio workouts.
Let’s start with diet though. More important than all the working out in the world (both cardio and weight training) is your diet. According to an article on Livestrong, it’s easy to “outeat” your exercise program. Meaning, you can quickly eat more calories than you burn in even the most intense workouts. The bottom line is that healthy eating is necessary for sustained weight loss (and healthy weight maintenance). In a study of 500 people who lost an average of 66 pounds and kept it off for 5 years or longer, 10% of them did it with diet alone, while only 1% did it with exercise alone. The remaining 89% kept the weight off with both a healthy diet and an exercise program. The point of this story? All the cardio in the world without a healthy, balanced diet won’t get you to your weight loss goals.
Now, let’s move on to weight training. Many women avoid weights because they are afraid they’ll get “bulky” or because they don’t know how to lift weights. There’s no reason to avoid weight training and many reasons for all women to add it to their exercise routine. My Weight Loss Rx includes weight training in all our workout programs because we know how important it is to a healthy lifestyle. Here are just a few reasons why all women should add strength training to their workout plans:
- You will lose body fat: A recent study showed that women who worked out using weights just 2 or 3 times a week gained nearly 2 pounds of muscle and lost 3.5 pounds of body fat over 2 months (just from strength training). Not only will you lose body fat, you’ll burn more calories even if you do nothing else differently. On average, you will burn 35 – 50 more calories per day for every pound of muscle you gain.
- You will reduce your risk of Osteoporosis: The loss of bone density with age is a major concern for women as they age. Studies show that women who weight train for just 6 months can increase their bone density by up to 13 percent.
- You will reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and injury: All compelling reasons to get out there and pump some iron!
- You’ll look & feel better…much better: Women are not programmed to “bulk up” the way men do. The women who appear “bulky” to you work hard to get that way and moderate weight training will never have that effect on women.
- You’ll be stronger: I, for one, really like being able to move things without having to wait for my man to come help me! It’s sort of liberating, and fun!
You can learn more about the benefits of weight training for women, but the bottom line is that it’s a great way to reach your weight loss and fitness goals. If you’d like to add weight training to your fitness program, but don’t know where to start, My Weight Loss Rx is here to help. We are here to provide you all the tools you need to combine diet and exercise to meet your weight loss goals.