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When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to focus on a balance between calories consumed and calories expended (through daily activities, digesting food, and of course, exercise). This basic rule leads many people to focus on aerobic exercises, such as biking or jogging, in an effort to burn as many calories as possible. And yes, these activities will certainly help you lose weight.
But there’s another form of exercise that will also contribute greatly to your weight loss plan, and you shouldn’t overlook it. Strength training might not get your heart pumping quite as hard as aerobic activities, but it will provide invaluable assets to your weight loss regimen.
Strength training stimulates the growth of muscle tissue, which, at first glance, might not sound like a goal you want to accomplish. After all, you’re trying to lose mass, not gain it! However, one pound of muscle takes up less space than one pound of fat, meaning you will still notice a difference in how your clothes fit over time as you replace fat with muscle. You will also appreciate the look of firm, sculpted muscles!
But the real benefit is the difference muscle mass will make for your metabolism. You’ve been pursuing aerobic exercise because you know you’re burning calories during each workout. But when you utilize strength training to build muscle tissue, you’ll burn more calories around the clock – even while you sleep! That’s because each pound of muscle demands more energy than each pound of fat. Adding muscle to your frame actually increases your overall caloric needs, meaning you can boost your base metabolism. You’ll burn more calories even when you’re not working out.
To reap the most rewards from your exercise regimen, add strength training to each workout session. Alternating between intense cardio and resistance exercise can help you max out your workouts, without straining your schedule. Cardio will keep your heart rate up, helping you burn more calories during the workout, while your strength training moves will help you add muscle and increase your overall metabolism.
Try incorporating moves like pushups, squats, crunches, lunges, or free weight exercises to your current routine. And of course, make sure you’re eating enough protein to support your muscle-building and weight loss goals. For more information on nutrition for weight loss, call us to schedule an appointment. We can assess your plans to ensure that your diet supports your goals, and give you a physical to ensure that your exercise plan is safe for you.