Thursday, October 14, 2010

Musclehead, Powerlifter, or Toner

When people think of lifting weights, the big bulky powerlifter comes to mind. You know what I'm talking about...the bulky muscles in tight sleeveless shirts at the gym grunting as they lift 75 lbs. kettle balls.
But I have good news for you! Lifting weights isn't just about building 20-inch biceps. In fact, for most women, it's not about that at all, since resistance training may be the single most effective way to lose fat and look great. Even more than that, the benefits of lifting extend into nearly every aspect of your health and well-being. Basically, you'd have to be crazy not to lift weights—even if bigger biceps are the last thing you want!
Lifting gives everyone the upper edge of everything - over belly fat, stress, diabetes, body image...the list goes on! Here are some ways that lifting helps you look great, stay healthy, and live a full and long life!

1. You'll lose 40% more fat! Muscle burns fat and helps burn the sugars in food. If you weight train as you diet, you'll protect your hard-earned muscle and burn more fat instead.
2. You'll burn more calories! Both during your workout of lifting and for a while after. As your muscle repairs from lifting, it is burning calories.
3. Your clothes will fit better! This is because even if you aren't gaining weight on the scale, as we age, muscle gets converted to fat as we don't use it. Fat is more flabby than muscle, which shows more under your clothes.
4. You'll build stronger bones! Just like muscle, you lose bone mass as you age. But putting pressure on the bone in a normal way, like when lifting, increases bone strength to help prevent injury in the future.
5. You'll shrug off jet lag! Strength training helps your body adjust faster to a change in time zones or work shifts.
6. You'll sleep better! Like other exercise, when you lift hard, your body rests better when it's time to go to bed.
7. You're diet will improve! Lifting weights provides a double dose of fat-loss fuel: On top of burning calories, exercise helps your brain stick to a diet.
8. You'll add years to your life! Get strong to live long. Muscle protects so much in your body, and enables proper growth and movement for the future.
9. You'll handle stress better! Break a sweat in the weight room and you'll stay cool under pressure. Researchers have found that the blood pressure levels of people with the most muscle returned to normal the fastest after a stressful situation, compared to those who had the least muscle.
10. You'll be happier! Not only because your body is looking great, but because any type of exercise increases endorphins, which make everyone feel good.

So get out there and start lifting! Don't forget how essential it is that you do cardio as well, so work your heart muscle and continue to burn calories and increase endurance. But both are so important and so necessary!

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