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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lift It to Lose It and Improve It

* Imagine an image of free weights posted here for the moment please. :) For some reason the image poster is down again. Grr!!! :(


So how is everyone doing today?? :) I hope you are all doing well! Yesterday was an exhausting day for me, but so worth it! I received my certification for Zumba Basic Instructor yesterday after attending an eight-hour class with Tony Witt! It was sooooo much fun but you definitely earn your certificate! We danced almost the entire time! Anyway, so now I'm ready to start leading classes and I can't wait to see where the journey takes me! Maybe I'll see some of you there! :)

On to the topic of the day...

I'm growing a bit tired of doing food posts at the moment so I figured I'd switch it up a bit and go with the topic of exercise instead. Some of you may have noticed that the workout I posted this past week was a bulking routine. I find that the word bulking is intimidating to some, especially women. Women generally stick with cutting routines because they want to stay lean and toned while men generally go with bulking routines because they want their muscles to be stacked. Most women do not understand that they will get cut results faster if they weight lift...yes, it's true...you won't look like Arnold ladies! :)

Women do not have the required testosterone levels to stack muscle the way that men do, so lifting weights will only help you get cut rather than stacked. :) So - ladies - if you want nice toned muscles and you HATE HATE HATE cardio, weight lifting is a great solution...and for those who LOVE cardio, weight lifting will still get you results faster and you will be a healthier "lean" because your muscles will be given the proper attention they deserve (specific muscles on specific days will help give attention to all the muscles rather than the full-body cardio pump workout that may actually only be working out your legs and/or core, while neglecting your arms, back, and shoulders).

Don't worry fellas, this post is not only for the ladies! Next we will discuss the benefits of weight lifting for everyone. (Note: Before beginning any weight-lifting regimen, consult with your physician. Also, if you have back, shoulder, or knee issues and your doctor approves weight lifting, don't go crazy with it. The idea is to get stronger and healthier over time - it is not a competition to see who can lift the most. You must always work up to your goal!!! Lastly, always have a partner to help guide you during free weight squats or bench-presses! Lifting alone can be dangerous! Okay, all my warnings are out there!! :)

So what are the benefits of weight lifting (besides looking like a sexy beast? :)

  • Weight loss - Even though weight lifting is associated with bulking routines, the result of strength training with weights is lean muscles (not bulky) with thick fibers. These thick fibers allow for better performance in endurance sports and balance due to the increased amount of molecules the body provides to move oxygen throughout the building muscle. This has been linked to helping restore the nervous system if it is imbalanced as well. Click here for the source of this information.
  • Faster Response Times - As muscles are built using weight training, the brain is sending and receiving signals to carry out the exercise. The more the brain is trained to interact with the muscles, the faster the brain-to-muscle response time will be overall. Resistance training has been linked to increasing the brain's function level more than other types of training because more muscles are being focused on at once.
  • Decreases the risk for type 2 diabetes - In order for muscle tissue to be built, glucose is required. The muscles obtain this glucose from the bloodstream. As more glucose is taken out of the bloodstream, the person's blood sugar level decreases. This helps keep the blood sugar level balanced instead of having to consume more sugar on top of what is already in the bloodstream to fuel the muscle growth. Since the bloodstream must remain balanced in order to grow healthy muscles, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is decreased. Click here to be taken to the source of this information
  • Decreases the risk for cardiovascular disease - The body generally stores fat around the organs as a back up in case of starvation (visceral fat). Since this stored fat is typically not needed in this day and age (as it may have been hundreds of years ago when food was not as readily available), it never gets used. This can lead to heart disease as the fat builds up around the organ and prevents it from receiving the oxygen and/or nutrients it needs. Weight lifting depletes the fat and lowers this risk. Weight lifting also contributes to decreasing cardiovascular disease due to the amount of oxygen that is pushed through the heart during lifting sessions. As the pulse increases from lifting weights, the level of oxygen pushed through the blood stream increases and is carried into and away from the heart. This increased oxygen increases the heart's ability to function properly.
  • Decreases the amount of muscle loss caused by aging - Between our 40's and 50's, if our muscles are not used regularly, they start to decrease in size. This leaves our bodies weak when it comes to performing simple tasks and causes us to fall apart faster. Weight lifting keeps the muscles, brain, and transmitters between the two active; thus, the muscle tissue is prevented from breaking down - keeping us healthier and stronger longer. Click here for the source of this information.
  • Reduces stress and depression - As with any exercise that increases one's pulse, weight lifting causes endorphins (your body's personally prescribed happy pills :) to be released into the body. Endorphins contribute to a positive mood, reducing stress and feelings of depression.
So, if you want to help your body help itself - lift weights 3-4 times a week, focusing on different muscle groups each time. Your organs and joints will thank you for it later. (Note - after the first few sessions, you will feel sore. This is normal, as the muscles are not used to being worked in this manner. Don't quit! It will get easier over time as your muscles begin to get stronger! :)

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*Disclaimer: All of the information provided here is the opinion of the author after thorough research of medical surveys, medical reports, and medical/government web site information. It has not been reviewed by a medical professional and results cannot be guaranteed by the author. Consult with your doctor before planning any diet or fitness changes.

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