Resistance training is essential for true fitness. Chance are if you aren’t building muscle, you are likely losing it.
And if you are 20 or older, you are definitely losing muscle, unless you are working hard to build it. Beginning at age 20, we begin naturally losing muscle mass every decade. if you don’t use it, you lose it.
The benefits of weight training:
- Stops muscle loss and helps begin the rebuilding process.
- Gives you a sculpted look.
- Increases bone density, giving you a strong, stable skeleton.
- Improves balance and coordination.
- Builds muscles which will burn more calories, even while you are resting.
- Reduces blood pressure by making your heart stronger.
- Increases your metabolism.
- Decreases blood sugar, which helps prevent insulin resistance (the precursor to diabetes).
- Improves your aerobic capacity: the stronger your muscles, the better your endurance.
- Raises your energy level. The more muscle you have, the less effort you have to exert and the more energy you have available.
- Secures future protection against falls and fractures. If you age with dense bones, strong muscles and good balance, your risk of injury plummets.
- Creates 22% more afterburn than aerobic exercise does. (Afterburn refers to the fat and calories that your body burns in the hours after you have finished your workout.)
Running or Cardio exercise is not a replacement for resistance training. They are different exercises and provide different benefits. Aerobic exercise does not deliver the needed stress to your bones, muscles and tendons
This is not to say that aerobic exercise is not important: it is! But it is not resistance training. You need both. And if you omit one, you do your body a great disservice.
Another danger of focusing on cardio or aerobic exercise to the exclusion of resistance training is becoming what is known as “skinny fat.” Skinny fat is a condition in which a person appears thin on the outside, but inside they are unhealthy and at risk for illness.