We’ve had this conversation with countless clients, and ourselves many times – as a society we are so tied to that number on the scale as the dictator in “how we are doing” in terms of our exercise regime – when we really shouldn’t be focusing on it so heavily. It’s difficult given our society’s obsession with weight – but really, we should be focusing on diet and exercise to look and feel your best, rather than weigh your lightest – and I hope we all agree that we should stress the importance and focus on about finding yourself a little happier with what you’re seeing in the mirror and how you feel throughout the day, rather than what the numbers on the scale tell you.
Okay, so to look and feel better, we’re talking about strength training? Yes: your secret weapon can be pretty simple: build lean muscle mass…and we are talking about feeling and looking stronger, more defined and leaner…not bulkier, let there be no question.
We’ve talked about this before, and women’s strength training seems to be getting increasing press these days – so we’re going to reiterate again the fabulous importance of what we’re doing at the barre (or any strength training you might currently be doing).
The ladies over at fitsugar.com have pulled together the top benefits, and reasons why we should shift our focus from what the scale reads to building lean muscle mass – and some of these reasons might surprise you!
1. More than just calories: “Building muscle mass helps strengthen connective tissues, which increases bone density. By doing this, you’re reducing your risk for injury, and your chance of getting osteoporosis later in life.” We love that – not only are you working out now for your near-term goals, but you are building and working towards your long-term health, as well.
2. Muscle increases metabolic rate: “The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate. You read that correctly; by doing absolutely nothing, you can actually burn calories thanks to your mighty muscles. One pound of muscle uses about six calories a day to sustain itself, while one pound of fat burns just two calories daily. And after a session of resistance training, you’ll burn even more since your muscles all over your body are activated. In layman terms, your muscles eat up calories even when you’re not working out.” When you come to the barre, you’re burning those fabulous calories the one hour you’re with us – but then your body is going to keep burning those extra calories even when you leave! Now that’s effective!
3. Muscle perks: “The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have also found that exercise, which build muscles, can actually help to improve balance, improve blood-sugar control, and improve sleep and mental health.”
4. The power of the after burn: “Want to burn even more calories? In a study from the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, it was found that women who lifted 85 percent of their maximum load for eight reps than when they did more reps at a lower weight burned twice as many calories in the two hours after their workout.” This is why we encourage you to always sink yourself lower – get those legs shaking – we want to work your muscles to their maximum to get the maximum benefit!
To see the full article by Heather Dale, click here!