Mix Cardio with Weight Training
A common misconception that many people have is that they need to do a lot of cardio and eat less, which they think will result in a skinnier, more toned body. Hate to break it to you, but no. You will lose fat that way, but you won’t change the shape of your body. You’ll simply become a smaller, swishier version of yourself.
Although I’m a huge advocate of participating in an exercise method you truly love, strength training is the only exercise method that can change the composition of your body. So if your goals are to shape and tone your body, strength training needs to become a part of your normal routine.
I’m not saying don’t do traditional cardio or that running, or the elliptical is bad for you. Not at all! If that’s what you enjoy, go for it. I think both strength training and traditional cardio have their place.
Strength training builds lean muscle.
As lean muscle increases, so does your resting metabolism, which means you’ll burn more calories at rest. Basically, the more toned you are, the easier it is to control your weight.
As you get stronger, you won’t fatigue as easily.
You’ll tone without getting “bulky”.
Many women have the misconception that strength training will result in big, bulky “manly” muscles. Building muscle mass is not something that just accidentally happens overnight. The amount of food, dedicated HEAVY lifting, and sleep required to make those kinds of gains just don’t happen by accident.
And you know what? If you wake up one day, look in the mirror and decide that you are more muscular than you’d like to be, you could change up your lifting routine that day. None of the changes you make in the gym and the kitchen are permanent. That’s the beauty of strength training. You can design your routine to accomplish a variety of different goals.
Decreased risk of osteoporosis.
Research has shown that strength training can increase spinal bone mineral density.
Reduces risk of injury, back pain, and arthritis.
Not only does strength training build stronger muscles, but it also builds stronger connective tissue and increases joint stability.
Strength training builds confidence.
Once you discover that you’re a lot stronger and more capable than you realize, your confidence will increase.
Makes you happy.
A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling.