Weight Loss with HEALTHeME

Weight loss and good health made simple

Friday, May 27, 2011

Weight Training for Weight Loss

Lose weight with weight training!
The results are in: weight training speeds weight loss.

Wanna shed a few pounds?  Tempted to jump on the nearest treadmill and stay there ‘til you’ve banished your belly fat?  Well, it’s true that cardiovascular (or aerobic) training boasts tremendous health benefits and burns calories. You’ll have to do more than just cardio to reach your goals. You need to add some weights to lose weight - simple as that.

In one article, strength training and aerobic training go head-to-head in an analysis of which is the better way to exercise. We know both are important but the article highlights certain benefits associated with strength training including injury prevention, improved self-image, and a boost to basal metabolic rate (the calories your body burns just to stay alive).
There are even more compelling reasons to spend some time with weights. In one study, researchers found that strength training for a mere 45 minutes per week can increase energy and prevent weight gain. Without altering their diet, study participants who did a very brief (about 11 minutes) strength training session three times per week, saw a big boost to their 24-hour energy expenditure. This helped prevent weight gain for the weight-lifting group. Although preventing weight gain may not sound like a big deal, when you consider that the average American gains 1 to 2 pounds per year, this is an important finding.

An analysis of a number of studies found strength training had a significant impact on metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome (or cardiometabolic risk) includes several conditions that increase your risk for diabetes and heart disease. These factors include high blood sugar, obesity, and high blood pressure. Researchers found that adding strength training to your routine can decrease body fat, improve blood sugar control, and decrease systolic blood pressure.
The Center for Disease Control recommends that all adults include strength training 2 days per week, exercising most major muscle groups. And, while fitness centers are nice, you don’t have to have access to fancy equipment to make your body strong. You can use hand weights, bands, or just your body weight to help strengthen your muscles. So, while exercises like walking, jogging, biking, and swimming are an important part of your fitness routine and will help you reach your weight loss goals; don’t overlook the importance of pumping a little iron!