Jogging on the treadmill and shaking your hips in a dance fitness class will do wonders for your body. But the impact these cardio exercises have on your strength, tone and bone health is limited. Not only this, when you restrict your workouts to cardio only, you cheat your body out of the opportunity to maximize its fat burning potential. If you want to reap the maximum rewards from daily exercise, add a strength training regimen to your workouts.
Strength Training will Tone muscles and Make You look leaner.
While muscle and fat weigh the same amount, muscle is more compact, so it takes up less space in the body. This means, the more muscle tone you have, the thinner you will look. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, but have a fair amount of muscle mass, you would likely look slimmer than someone who weighs 135 pounds.
Maximize the Caloric Burn.
Muscles require more energy than fat to function, so people who have more muscle tone have a higher basal metabolic rate. This means they burn more calories throughout the day, even when they’re lounging around on the couch. For each pound of fat you have, your body will only burn a measly two to three pounds per day. If you eliminate excess fat and replace it with muscle, your body will burn two to three times as many calories.
Increase Bone Density.
The National Institutes of Health acknowledges that weight bearing exercises can increase bone density and make bones more resistant to fractures. Bone density is something that naturally decreases with age, especially among women. So if you want to keep your bones from crumbling in the future, you should take your weight training seriously.
How Many Days Per Week is Enough for Strength Training?
When you lift weights, you don’t need to overdo it. Adding it into your regular workout routine three to four days per week is plenty. During each of your resistance training workouts, the muscle fibers in your body will breakdown. In order for them to strengthen and tone, they must have adequate time to rebuild. If you lift weights every single day, you sabotage your success by not allowing your muscles to rest.
There is no doubt that regular cardio exercise can improve your overall wellbeing. However, cardio alone will not give you the kind of tone, bone support and fat burning power you deserve. Adding a strength training routine to your workout regimen can provide you with all the aforementioned benefits and help you maximize your health.