Weight training is an important part of losing weight and getting fit; learn why and how you should get started.
Though it wasn’t always the case, people now generally accept that weightlifting, or resistance training is important for overall health as well as weight loss. And fitness professionals realize that it is crucial to attaining your goals.
Why Is Weight Training Important?
Research has shown that a combination of weight training and cardio sheds more pounds and boosts your metabolism higher than cardio alone. One reason for that is because you burn several more calories per day for each droplet of fat that you replace with a fiber of lean muscle, and weight, or resistance, training is a great way to get fibers of lean muscle.
In addition to the weight loss benefits, resistance training can provide you with higher bone density, a more coordinated and well-functioning collection of muscles and joints, and better agility and balance. Weight training will help you achieve a nice, symmetrical appearance and avoid injuries from muscles that are too strong or too weak.
When Should You Lift Weights?
One of the most common questions I receive is “Should I do weights on the same day I do cardio?”
Since weight training can take some focus and a little bit of time, I’d recommend you devote an entire workout routine to weight training, with just a brief five to ten minute cardio warm-up and cool-down. Save your cardio workouts for a different day.
On days you devote to weight training, start your workout by doing just enough cardio to break a sweat. When you start sweating, that’s a good sign that your body is warm, and if your body is warm, it’s going to move much better. But wait, don’t rush off to the weights quite yet!
After you finish your cardio and you’ve got nice warm and toasty muscles, it’s a good idea to stretch before weightlifting, especially if you been sitting or not moving for most of the day. The best stretching scenario should involve a few controlled leg swings and arm swings before you lift weights. You should also do some nice long stretches after you lift weights. You’ll get to read much more about stretching in future articles.