The third tip of the week is Lift Weights!
Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue. The more muscles you have the bigger your resting energy expenditure, which means you burn fat while doing nothing!
Weight lifting is the gift that keeps on giving. I have been training with weights for over 30 years and I was 17 when I started going to the gym. There were the aerobics classes that I took in my leotards and leg warmers (it was the eighties!). I was hopping around to music with a stepper in a group fitness class and loved it. Eventually I got bored of the classes and found my way to the weight lifting area. Back then the only people working out were serious bodybuilders. I befriended a few of them and they were more than happy to help me figure out what to do with the machines and how to do a proper squat. I was hooked! I bought a weight lifting belt, gloves and trained every weekend. I also learned what to eat; skim milk, egg whites, oatmeal, beans, and complex carbohydrates (again, it was the eighties!) although not too different than what I eat today. I started lifting and basically never stopped. I took what I learned in that gym and used the knowledge to keep my body in shape.
I know what you're thinking, "I don't want to bulk up". In my previous email I shared a pic of myself in a bikini where you can see I am far from bulky, I am lean and fit. I personally do not want to look like a bodybuilder. But what people do not realize is that bodybuilding is a sport. In order to look like a bodybuilder you need to train and eat like a bodybuilder. They spend enormous amounts of time in the gym, sometimes twice a day, and spend even more time eating to get their muscles to look the way they do.
18 YEAR OLD ME VS. ME TODAY
Weight lifting has helped me stay the same size as when I was 17. I have given birth to 2 children and my body bounced back in a matter of weeks. I tell the story about when I was in the hospital and had just delivered my son, a woman asked me what I was doing there. I explained that I had just given birth and she looked at me like I was a freak. I was wearing black (which didn't hurt!) but my stomach was already flattening out. I attribute this to my weight training. I didn't spend hours in the gym but I did use weights every time I worked out, which was 3-4 days a week.
There are so many benefits of weight training:
Reduce the risk of injury, back pain, & arthritis.
Reduce your risk for osteoporosis
Increase muscle & lose fat
Get strong without bulking
Increase physical strength making daily activities easier
Reduce the risk of diabetes
Reduce the risk of heart diseases
Improve mental health & attitude
Reverses the aging process
I recently started lifting heavier weights. I will do a set and for my last rep I will use weights heavy enough that I can only complete 3-4 reps. I have also increased my calories from 1400 a day to 2000. I cannot gain a pound! I am trying to build some muscle (not easy at my age) but it literally is the hardest thing to do as you have to dedicate a lot of time to increasing weights and calories you eat to see major changes in your body. So don't be afraid to lift!
And if you're older it's never too late to start. You can change your body at any age. Just look up the instagram sensation Joan Macdonald @trainwithjoan. She was 71 when she started lifting weights and in a matter of 4 years she has literally transformed her body, took control of her health and is more fit now than most people half her age!
Muscles become smaller and weaker with age. But when you train with weights you can literally reverse the aging process. In addition, studies show that older adults who engage in strength training at least twice a week had a 46 percent lower odds of death for any reason than those who do not. They also have 41 percent lower odds of dying from cardiac problems and 19 percent lower odds of dying from cancer.
If that's not enough to make you want to crush the weights I don't know what is!
Now go lift some heavy stuff!