Sorry about the late post today- I was literally out of my house from 6:30am until now (8:30pm) at work, meetings, tutoring and then the gym. I guess it's back in the grind right?
The last couple of days I have been blogging a LOT about fitness. I mentioned that I have been consistent about my workout for 3 ½ years. Last month I took on a spinning challenge and this month I am working on the elliptical machine. However, there is one area I have NOT been consistent in and that is strength training. Sure, I’ll lift a few weights every once in awhile, and I went through a Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred phase, but I rarely have a plan and I never keep it up for very long.
I have decided now is the time to change that. It’s no secret that in July I will be wearing a wedding dress. And even if I wasn’t, strength training has so many benefits that I truly have been crazy not to incorporate it more!
…can help you lose weight. The more muscle you have, the better your body is at burning calories. So basically, people with more muscle can eat more and still burn off the same amount of calories. Sign me up!
…helps to prevent injury. During all my knee drama last year I had to work very hard to building the muscles in my quad area. Turns out, if you run and you don’t have great quad strength, you are basically setting yourself up for injury. If you incorporate strength training now, you are less likely to become injured from other activities.
…prevents muscle loss. Did you know adults lose between 5 to 7 pounds of muscle every decade of their life? Ah! Cardio alone will not prevent this, but strength training will.
…reduce your risk of several diseases. For example, strength training will improve your glucose metabolism. People with poor glucose metabolism are more likely to get diabetes. Also, strength training improves your digestion, putting you at lower risk for colon cancer.
…can lower your blood pressure. I always thought blood pressure was lowered with cardio activity, but new research has shown that strength training can actually lower your resting blood pressure.
…help you get a better night sleep. According to Mayo Clinic, people who commit to a regular strength training workout have less instances of insomnia. Personally, any possibility of better sleep is reason enough for me!
Did I convince you yet? Well I’m convinced! I decided last week to sign up for a weight class at my gym. It’s called Women on Weights and it’s going to meet on Monday and Wednesday nights. I went to my first class tonight. My friend from work who has taken the class before assured me that I wouldn't do a lot tonight because it was the first class (she was clearly just trying to get me to go to spin with her before). Guess what? I did go to spin AND I was the only new person at the class SO we did stuff. Oh we did stuff.
Let's just say you will be lucky if I post tomorrow because I may not be able to type. Ok, exaggeration! It wasn't that bad. We focused mainly on hamstrings, quads (yeah cuz those didn't get enough of a workout in spinning), back, shoulders and abs. The teacher was great, she asked me a ton of questions and seemed really knowledgeable about modifications I should make for my knee.
Once I have a better idea of what my routine is going to look like, I'll post some more information so you can benefit from my newfound knowledge :) Today was sort of all over the place because I was learning about all the machines and dodging all the annoying New Years Resolution gym-goers. I hope everyone survived Monday :)
Where do you stand with strength training? What do you already do? What are your future goals in this area of fitness?