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Friday, May 20, 2011

Getting Fit Fridays: Don't Weight!

Don't WAIT to start lifting those WEIGHTS! 

 I admit it, I am totally guilty of avoiding weight training.  Every year, during marathon training, I set the goal to lift weights twice a week.  I even make the workout relatively quick and easy by only doing 2 repetitions of each muscle group and using lighter weight.  And yet, I still tend to start out "strong" and fizzle.

Lifting weights (also called resistance training or strength training) can really do your body good in so many ways. Here are five great reasons to start "pumping it up."

1.Maintains strength: Everything we do requires all-round body strength — from simple movements such as eating a meal to more difficult tasks such as lifting and pushing. You can maintain your ability to carry out everyday tasks without difficulty.

2.Reduces injury risk: Weight training not only strengthens muscles but also connective tissues, like tendons. Tendon injuries in sport and ordinary activities are very common — but doing a regular resistance workout will reduce the likelihood of these injuries occurring.

3.Prevents osteoporosis: Osteoporosis — or brittle-bone disease — affects both men and women, and you can strengthen the whole skeleton through resistance training, because lifting weights actually stimulates the skeleton to get thicker and stronger.

4.Helps weight management: The more muscle your body has, the more calories you burn — whether you are exercising or not! An extra pound of muscle equates to burning an extra 50 calories a day — so hitting the gym for a weights workout will help keep you slim!

5.Is essential for power and speed in sport: Muscle power is a key factor at every level of sporting performance. If you do not have good muscular strength, then your ability to run, jump, throw, or kick will be reduced. Resistance training enables athletes to specifically target the appropriate muscle groups that are relevant for their sport.

That pretty much includes everyone.  Whether you are a seasoned athlete wanting to to increase your power and speed or an cute ol' granny keeping those bones thick and strong...weight lifting is for you!
So now that you know why you should be lifting (or maybe you already knew), set a goal to add some resistance training in your life.
You can start simple by purchasing inexpensive weights at Target or Dick's and lift them in the comfort of your own home (buy a little instructional video too if you need it). 
Many of our neighborhoods have fabulous community gyms that are stocked with free weights and machines just waiting for you to lift them. 
 And all of us have a gym nearby!  Not only do they have everything you need, they can teach you to properly use their equipment!  If you live in the Gainesville/Haymarket area, Sport and Health is opening their new and improved gym right off I-66...they are offering amazing deals right now if you sign up before they open (and while you wait for the grand opening, you can continue to use their current fitness center).
Swimsuit season is right around the corner...don't WEIGHT...I mean do WEIGHT!

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