Monday, February 7, 2011

Weight Train for Weight Loss

Hard to believe the Saturday before I was bouncing with energy, anxious to get outside and enjoy the 70 degree weather. Feeling like I just came out of hibernation, I went out to lunch and then took our dog for a nice long walk. Without even a sweater on. Heaven.
Fast forward to this past Saturday afternoon with its gloomy skies and
50 degrees. I was back inside, in my favorite spot next to the fireplace,
with a warm throw and reading material. I hate cold weather!
One of my favorite magazines had just arrived, Women's Health. They have
great articles and the one on weightlifting was very well written, highlighting the reasons why it is so important for women. In a nutshell:

12 Reasons women shouldn't live another day without weight training(WT):

1. You'll lose 40% more fat.
If you diet without WT, you will lose about 25% from muscle, which
may drop your scale weight but makes you more likely to gain back
the fat you lost. However, if you WT as you diet, you'll protect
your hard-earned muscle AND burn more fat.

2. Your clothes will fit better.
Between the ages of 30 and 50, you'll likely lose 10% of your body's
total muscle, and it's likely to be replaced by fat over time. One
pound of fat takes up 20% more space than one pound of muscle.

3. You'll burn more calories.
WT burns more calories during and after a workout than just cardio.
Muscles need more energy to repair the breakdown during WT which
raises metabolism for up to 2 days afterward.

4. Your diet will improve.
Exercise helps your brain stick to a diet plan, reminding you to
stay on track.

5. You'll handle stress better.
Fit people are shown to have lower levels of stress hormones than
those least fit. And under a stressful situation, blood pressure
of people with the most muscle returned to normal faster than the
levels of those with the least muscle.

6. You'll build stronger bones.
Just 16 weeks of WT can increase hip bone density and elevated
blood levels of osteocalcin (a marker of bone growth) by 19%.

7. You'll get into shape faster.
Circuit training with weights raises your heart rate 15 bpm higher
than if you ran at 60-70% of your max heart rate. This type of
workout can strengthen muscle while getting cardiovascular benefit.

8. Your heart will be healthier.
Regular total body weight workouts can lower blood pressure enough
to reduce the risk of stroke by 40% and chance of heart attack 15%.

9. You'll be more productive.
Workers are shown to be 15% more productive on days they exercised.

10. You'll live longer.
Total body strength is linked to lower risks of death from
cardiovascular disease and cancer. And scientists found that being
strong during middle age is associated with "exceptional survival",
defined as living to the age of 85 without developing a major disease.

11. You'll be happier.
Researchers found that people who did 3 weight workouts a week for
6 months significantly improved their scores on measures of anger
and overall mood.

12. You'll be even smarter.
Muscles strengthen your body AND mind by enhancing cognitive
function. Regular WT results in better short- and long-term memory,
improved verbal reasoning and a longer attention span.

Only about a fifth of females strength train 2 or more times a week. I
know how much fun Zumba classes are, and how easy it is to throw on Nikes
and walk through the neighborhood. But weight training is needed too and
as you can see is well worth the effort!

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