In our blog ‘8 Benefits of Exercising’ we talked about the importance of exercise and as a recommendation, 30 minutes of exercise every day is needed. These exercises could be from something that we already know how to do like walking or mowing the lawns. This week, I would like to dive into something slightly more specific; strength training and how you can include it into your exercise routine.
When I mention strength training, I’m not asking you to become a bodybuilder nor be the next Chris Hemsworth. All you need to start with is 2 days a week for 20-30 minutes each time. So perhaps you can substitute your two days of walking and do this instead.
Effects of strength training
So now we know how often and how much weight training we should be doing every week, do you know why we should make it part of our routine? Weight training can help with many things apart from building strength and muscles, it can help with fat burning and the prevention of osteoporosis too.
Weight training helps with building muscles and increasing strength. Muscle builds and strengthens through repetitive stress. Our muscles are made from many smaller muscle fibers. Every time we do strength training, we actually tear and rip these muscle fibers. Our body knows that each time we tear our muscle fibers we are lifting something heavier than usual and it will find a way to adapt. As a result, our muscles become thicker, larger, and stronger when it recovers.
Strength vs. Cardio
Many studies also show that weight training can help us burn more fat and calories than cardio exercises. This does not mean you should just ditch cardio altogether as there are also unique benefits that only cardio provides. Muscles are metabolically more active than fat therefore muscles burn more calories in a resting state. This is why if you want to burn that fat off your belly, don’t just do cardio and add in some strength training too!
Weight training can help with the prevention of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the weakening of bones. This process happens as we age and as our bones become weaker, it can no longer withstand as much pressure and stress. This makes us more susceptible to fractures. Every time we strength train, we actually stress the bone by pulling and tugging it. So once we put stress on the bone, it stimulates the bone-forming cells into action causing more bone growth.
A common misconception about strength training is that we have to go to a gym or lift something really heavy. But in reality, when we are first starting off, bodyweight exercises are more than enough. Some simple bodyweight exercises include push-ups, squats, crunches, planks, lunges, and many more. We actually have plenty of videos on our YouTube channel and Instagram. If you are interested, we are also posting up new videos on basic bodyweight exercises this week that you can check out!
Now you know the amount of exercise you need to do, start incorporating some weight training, and become the best version of yourself!
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