It’s the beginning of a new year and everyone is making resolutions in an effort to make this year better than the past. The once empty gyms will be packed with people who have resolved to get into shape and lose those extra pounds gained over the holiday season. It’s a valiant resolution, but in our opinion we should be making resolutions to get fit instead of getting skinny. Yet every year, countless people go on crash diets in an effort to lose extra pounds while subjecting themselves to scale torture every morning. This kind of behavior absolutely baffles us. When will we finally understand that being fit is much more important than being skinny?
What’s the Difference?
Being fit involves replacing body fat with muscle. Not only does a toned frame look better, it’s also much healthier! Obviously we aren’t talking about bulking up to body builder status, but rather toning up what we’ve already got. Getting fit doesn’t involve a scale, you simply measure progress by the way your clothes feel. Because muscle weighs more than fat, you may weigh more but your jeans will fit better! So it doesn’t matter if you prefer hand held dumb bells or your own body weight (think Yoga, Pure Barre or Pilates), just do whatever works best for you.
Benefits of Weight Training
Studies show women who work out with weights have improved bone density over those who don’t. Stronger muscles also means stronger connective tissue which decreases our chances for injuries. Muscle burns more calories than fat so it helps maintain heart health, as well as whittles the waistline. Now, don’t think this releases us from doing cardio but we should always combine it with weight training to increase its effectiveness.
- Start slowly. This will decrease your chance of injury and soreness.
- Start with single sets and work your way up to multiple sets.
- Use the correct weight amount. Using too much weight will increase your chance of injury because your form will suffer. Vice versa, by not using enough weight your muscles will not be challenged and you won’t experience the desired benefits of weight training. How do you know you are lifting the correct amount of weight? It should be hard to perform the last few repetitions without comprising your form.
- Give your muscles time to rest and recovery. You should wait at least 48 hours before you train the same muscle group once again.
- 3 times per week is enough!
So this year, resolve to get fit instead of skinny and build up your muscles for a fitter, healthier you!