“Welcome to the gym. Women, through that door please to the aerobics classes and treadmills. Men, there is your door to the weight room.”
Women are taking over yet another male dominated domain: the weight room. Love it! The gym scene, fitness DVD sales, all of it is shifting to encourage females to lift weights.
Weight lifting or resistance training is part of the 3 essential components of fitness, but why?
As a teenager, we could eat at Taco Bell and sit around with friends, yet still fit into those stone washed Guess Jeans pegged at the ankles–no problem. Now, things are –let’s say this kindly–um, changing. We can’t eat like we used to, we can’t be as lazy as we used to. As we age, our metabolism slows down.
Enter weight lifting.
Weight lifting speeds up your metabolism.
It increases your ability to burn calories (that is what your metabolism is). Hello, that is the #1 reason in my book. The more muscle we have, the more calories we burn. I’m not talking while we are actually lifting; often doing aerobic exercise actually burns more in 30 minutes than 30 minutes of lifting. What about the other 23.5 hours of the day?
One pound of muscle burns up to 50 calories a day. Doesn’t sound like much? If you add that up, let’s say you gained 5 pounds of muscle, that 250 calories burned per day just by sitting in a chair, reading this blog, sleeping, watching Oprah. Not a bad deal.
How does your body do this?
When you lift weights, you are causing small tears in the muscle fibers. Your body recognizes this, sends in the repair truck and starts repairing those muscles, in turn making them stronger. This process of muscle repair is what is burning those extra calories long after the dumbbell is put away.
Wait! There’s more:
Lifting weights has shown to keep burning calories up to 48 hours – 2 days – after you lift! Love it! Compare this with the 30 minutes on the elliptical burned 300 calories while you were sweatin’ to Beyonce. The calories stopped burning once you stepped off, gathered your rascals from child care and were off to Costco. So, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn beyond the 30 or so minutes of cardio. SWEET!