If you could pick just one activity to keep fit every week, which choice would be best?

This is going to come as a surprise, because of the misconception regarding weight training and it’s potential for keeping you fit, trim and strong throughout your whole life. I’d like to abolish the interpretation that lifting weights is only for bodybuilders on steroids. It’s for everyone! Children, middle aged and seniors. We can all lift weights and benefit from them immensely. Here is why.

5 reasons why I pick weight training over any other activity

  1. Lifting weights elevates your daily rate of caloric burn.
    We all know that weights do not burn as many calories as continual cardio, but it has some undeniable benefits that most people are not aware of.
    Weight training has the ability to build muscle mass on your body, which is not something cardio can do. Muscles burn more calories at rest, which increases your resting metabolic rate. That means, you burn more calories over the course of the day, ever day! The cardio downfall is that you only burn calories during the duration of that session. If you are looking for an effective weight loss program, as well as having the ability to burn fat at rest, opt for weight training 3–4 times per week above extremely long, steady state cardio sessions.
    How this works as cardio:- Use weights to increase the intensity of your circuit training routine. For example, use kettle bells, medicine balls, sled or resistant bands, to increase the intensity, building muscle mass and strength, as well as burning calories within the session, and at rest.
  2. Lifting weights improves your mobility.
    When you lift weights properly, using a full range of motion; it improves your mobility, which is very important considering how much of the population has sedentary jobs. Mobility and flexibility will allow you to perform moments properly, well into your seniority. Training yourself now will put you a step ahead of the rest. Unfortunately, cardio does not offer increased mobility through ranges of movement.
    Strength training therefore sets a great foundation for proper movement, and it even allows you to perform better in your cardio training (think sprinting, cycling, running etc). You must keep in mind that doing just cardio constantly will leave you weak and imbalanced. This can cause injury in the long run.
    How this works:- Full range of movement, requiring full extension and full flexion of your muscles when you lift weights. This is how you get the best benefits
  3. Strengthening your muscles (and joints) via lifting weights, reduces your risk of injury now, and in the future.
    Repetitive motion and limited range of motion long term (as with running and cycling for example) will cause a cascade of injuries, imbalances, and long term damage to cartilage. Lifting weights on the other hand strengthens your joints and connective tissues, reducing the risk of injuries. You will also increase your balance and flexibility. Think of all the benefits you can experience if you weight train as well as perform cardiovascular exercises. Your results will drive above and beyond your expectations.
    How this works:- Slowly build up how much weight you lift with each chosen exercise. Even if it’s just 1kg, this will make a huge difference long term. Keep adding weight to challenge yourself. You will strengthen your connective tissue, joints and iron out any imbalances.
  4. Your physique will change dramatically with weights – not so much with cardio alone.
    Strength training allows for the development of muscle tone, as well as giving you an athletic shape, conditioning your whole body. You are more inclined to build size and symmetry to enhance your genetic features (such as a six back or spectacular back development). I always say, sweat looks better on a muscles than it does on flab. You may or may not agree to this, but I’m sure you realise how beautiful an athletic, toned and shapely physique looks.
    Think of it this way if you want to have less body fat. The more muscle mass you have, the less body fat you will accumulate. If this is what you would like to have also, then you must follow the same principles regularly.
    How this works:- When you lift weight, you will gradually change your body shape. Fat will begin to disappear, and you will build muscle mass. This means having a nice, athletic and strong look. If this is what you want, keep using weights as your main form of training. Implement HIIT for diminishing stubborn fat stores, and walk as much as you can every day for low impact training
  5. You always have a variety of different exercises to do with weights. With cardio, you are quite limited and can get bored easily.
    I love the fact that I can have a multitude of exercise variations to keep my mind interested, and my body still accumulating results from different movements. This is essential, as it keeps your interest in peak condition, and inhibits training plateaus. When you run or cycle, you really don’t have much of a variety, apart from your external settings. I just love the flexibility of weights, because you may choose a circuit, strongman or throwing in HIIT sprints in your mix. Variety is the spice of life (for me anyway!)
    How this works:- A lot of people stop training because they become bored, or lose interest. Maybe they become injured. Weight training provides a huge variety of exercises, intensities and durations. It leaves you excited for your next session and eager to master new strength ranges and develop skills. Not only are you keeping your body occupied, but also your mind. It’s great for self development. Allowing you to train your mind that you are in fact, more than capable of lifting above and beyond what you initially thought you could.

As you can tell, I love weight training. I do hope this helps you, and good luck on your journey. Please feel free to connect with me, and if you have any further questions, I’m always here.
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