If you’ve been a couch potato too long you are probably wondering how you can possibly get into shape. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you think, a little strength training can go a long way. Even if you are not overweight strength training (also called resistance training) helps to provide tone, mass, endurance and strength of the muscles. Besides looking better in or out of clothes you burn more calories at rest doing things like sleeping or watching TV when muscles are strong. Having strong muscles also helps you to lose weight and keep the weight off.
Now you may have picture of yourself on stage as a body builder, that is not the results we are looking for. Most people only have a very limited amount of time to do daily activity. If you are trying to decide what is going to help you the most (aerobic activity or strength training) it is best to spend your time doing up to 30 minutes of strength training daily and then participate in aerobic activity daily.
Let’s be clear of the definitions of strength training (or resistance training):
Strength training is a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance and size of skeletal muscles.
After speaking with your healthcare provider, try a couple sessions with a personal trainer to assist you in learning the best method and activities to start strength training. The personal trainer will help you to understand how to rotate working muscle groups, what resistance to use (your body weight, bands, weights, etc.) and how often to work each muscle group. Start and stick with a routine. Before long you will see your transformation into someone who is strong, defined and energized.
By: Molly McBrayer, Clinical Manager, Roper St. Francis Bariatric and Metabolic Services