Want to Lose Weight? Don’t Forget Strength Training!

When most people decide to lose weight, one of the first things they add to their routine is a good cardio or aerobic workout. Perhaps it’s walking, jogging, or spending time on an elliptical machine every day. While aerobic exercise is important, it should be part of a well-rounded fitness routine that also includes strength training.

Strength training isn’t just for people looking to build bigger muscles or “bulk up”; it’s just as important for people wanting to lose weight. Strength training builds lean muscle mass, which helps to rev up your base metabolism so you’ll burn more calories and lose weight more easily. Regular strength training can also improve your stamina, strengthen your bones, and boost your attention span.

Strength training workouts include anything that focuses on using your muscles to the point of exhaustion. While most people think of weight lifting, either with free weights or weight machines, you can also get a strength training workout using your own body weight or resistance bands. Push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and abdominal exercises allow you to strengthen your muscles from the comfort of your home using your own body weight for resistance. Resistance bands can be purchased at sporting goods stores or from large retailers like Target. These large elastic bands allow you to do a series of exercises using resistance to stress your muscles.

Body weight, resistance bands, and weight training can each give you results when done 2 or 3 times a week. You’ll probably notice your stamina improving first, followed by an increase in your overall strength and a more toned appearance.