When you think of someone whose body is in peak condition, what exercises do you visualize them doing? Riding their bike to work each day? Running six miles before breakfast in the morning?
In reality, the exercise routines of fitness gurus probably aren’t what you’d expect them to be. Instead of zeroing in on building their shredded six pack and or engaging in hundreds of cardio sessions, many trainers and experts are focusing predominantly on one type of exercise: strength training.
To some extent, this is the area where the rest of us are falling behind. Many people think that running until your lungs give out or heading to a spin class every day is the best way to shed unwanted pounds, but in reality, aerobic exercise is the most effective when paired with purposeful strength training. Here’s why:
Strength training is sometimes referred to as resistance training because it requires your muscles to contract against another force. This resistance builds your muscles up in crucial ways, which then prevent you from losing strength as you begin to age. Your body will feel more capable and empowered as soon as you begin targeting your muscle definition instead of just aiming to lose weight.
Because your muscles become stronger when you engage in resistance training, the rest of your body will begin to follow suit. Your bones will become denser and your structure will improve, which will then prevent you from suffering other injuries when exercising. Plus, as you grow older, your bones will stay in shape for far longer than others.
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Instead of just trying to shed the extra weight, why not try to turn it into something healthier and more attractive? As you begin adding strength training to your normal cardio routine, you’ll find that the number on the scale might not change, but your BMI will. It’s inspiring to watch pushups, weight lifting, and other kinds of strength training alter your body into a stronger, more muscular version of itself.
Studies have found that, like other sorts of exercise, strength training can give you a burst of endorphins that make you feel energetic and happy. Furthermore, the sweet, sore pain that follows in the aftermath of a serious training session means your body is still working on improving your muscles. Sore muscles mean you’re making a difference, and that in itself can put a smile on your face.
Many people who typically struggle to sleep after working out have found that resistance training helps them catch more zzz’s. The act of lifting weights or using your own body weight to train can help regulate your body and therefore allow it to fall asleep more easily. Also, strength training has been found to decrease stress levels, which will help you sleep more peacefully at night. You might even find that your rest after an intense weight training session is deeper than you usually experience.
Since strength training can help everything from your muscles and bones to your mind and sleep schedule, many people find that it can help them deal with chronic concerns. People with arthritis, diabetes, heart problems, and joint pain claim that practicing resistance training has allowed them to improve their overall lifestyle and lessen the seriousness of their health issues.
You’ll notice that when you focus more on building muscle than you do on your aerobic exercises, the two kinds of workouts will begin to complement each other nicely. Runners often engage in serious weight training to build their stamina and increase their strength. Similarly, bikers, swimmers, and other serious athletes know how important it is to couple their regular routine with plenty of strength training. If you really want to improve your abilities when it comes to cardio, then adding a dash of strength training is 100 percent necessary.
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