Want to tone up? I’m a big champion of body confidence, no matter what shape, size or height you are, and it ultimately comes down to feeling happy and healthy in your own skin. But I don’t know many people who wouldn’t like to tone up their arms, legs, tummy or bum – even just a little bit! And that’s where resistance training comes in…
Here are three good reasons to incorporate weights into your fitness regime:
- Lifting Weights Improves Your Muscle to Fat Ratio:
Weight or resistance training is incredibly important for strengthening all of your muscles, improving your ratio of lean muscle to fat mass, and sculpting your body.
I used to be a cardio queen with very little muscle tone. Like many other women, I used to worry that lifting weights would bulk me up like a bodybuilder, so I lifted tiny weights inconsistently, and instead focused on cardiovascular exercise. When I was eventually convinced to try proper weight training, I couldn’t believe the difference it made to my body.
2. Weight Training Boosts Your Metabolism:
It became so much easier to stay slim and toned, as weight training boosts your metabolism by encouraging the body to burn calories for hours after the session while your torn muscle fibres repair themselves. Of course, I didn’t bulk up but actually slimmed down, as a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat.
Women don’t have enough of the hormone testosterone, needed to bulk up in the way that men can. Instead, we produce more oestrogen, which make us more prone to storing fat.
3. Weight Training For Bone Health:
Weight training is especially important for women, as it encourages your bones to continuously rebuild and strengthen themselves, helping to prevent the onset of osteomalacia and osteoporosis.
How to Begin?
I lift weights twice a week for an hour, with the help of a trainer, to incorporate each major muscle and muscle group in the body. Exercises such as squats, lunges, press-ups and planks work a number of major muscles and can all be done without equipment and using your body weight, in the comfort of your own home. They work your glutes, quads, hamstrings and core, and even help to improve your posture, plus they encourage fat burning by boosting your metabolism and increasing the production of growth hormones.
As long as you don’t suffer with lower body joint problems, I would encourage everybody to incorporate regular squats into their fitness regime.
But to avoid injury if you’re brand new to it, it would be best to start out with a trainer or workout buddy who knows what they’re doing. If you’re over the age of 35 or have had a sedentary lifestyle for some time, it would be best to arrange a one-on-one consultation with a health and fitness expert before beginning an exercise programme.