Strength training is an important part of long-term, successful weight loss. A regular strength training program reduces body fat, increases lean muscle mass and helps transform your body into an efficient, calorie burning machine. The more muscle tone you have, the easier it is for your body to lose weight and keep the pounds off.
Strength training is also important for your overall health. By stressing your bones, strength training increases bone density and reduces your risk for osteoporosis. Regular strength training also protects your joints from injury and helps improve balance and stability - ensuring you remain strong and independent as you age. If you suffer from chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, obesity, back pain, and osteoporosis, regular strength training as part of an overall, healthy lifestyle can reduce the symptoms of these conditions.
If you've never lifted weights before or incorporated strength training into your fitness routine, all those big, bulky machines at the gym can seem a bit overwhelming. Don't be intimidated! Many gyms offer a complimentary personal training session when you first join. Use this session to familiarize yourself with the machines, and have your trainer create a basic strength training program that you can follow several times per week. If you're still unsure of yourself, schedule a regular, weekly training session. After a few sessions, you'll gain confidence in your skills, and be comfortable training on your own.
Effective strength training programs can also be done at home using little or no equipment. Use your body weight for resistance with push-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges and pull-ups. Or invest in an inexpensive set of free weights, resistance tubing and a medicine ball to kick your at-home strength training program up a notch.
Before you beginning strength training, warm up with a low-impact aerobic activity such as walking for five to ten minutes. For each exercise, select a weight or resistance level that allows you to complete 12 repetitions in a single set. You'll know you are using the proper resistance level when you struggle to complete the final rep. It's normal to feel sore after strength training, especially when you first begin. However, severe pain or swollen joints is a sign you've lifted too much or completed too many reps - give your body a few days to recover before your next session.
Office Location: 2000 Medical Parkway | Suite 605 | Annapolis, MD 21401 | Phone: 410-266-5667
Dr. Emily Ulmer at LiveLyte Medical Weight Management offers a proven method of rapid weight loss, backed by years of bariatric medical research and success. The LiveLyte Program offers New Direction prescription meal replacements in conjunction with medical monitoring. On our staff, we have a lifestyle specialist, dietitian, and exercise specialist that will help you make and keep the lifestyle changes and ensure you maintain your weight loss for a lifetime.