There is a four-letter word all my clients love to hear. It’s the word “DONE” and usually has a virtual exclamation point after it, accompanied by a relieved look on their faces. What they may not think about, however, are the gifts they just gave themselves in the process.
I am actually surprised when women still admit to me that they don't do any weight training, especially as they enter their 40s. The benefits go far beyond getting big muscles, and I guess I can’t understand how they don’t differentiate between cardio and strength training as necessary to their fitness goals.
Here are a few things that happen to your after the “D” word is said after one of my workouts with you:
- Your metabolism revs up
Plain and simple, having more muscle turns your body into a fat-burning machine. You don’t develop muscle through cardio the way you do with strength training. The more muscle mass you develop through bodyweight exercises or by using weights and other resistance equipment, the more calories and fat you are blasting even when you're just sitting around binge-watching TV shows or staring at your computer screen.
- Your bones thank you
The only way to help prevent injuries throughout your life is to weight train. A growing body of research shows doing weight-bearing exercise can help prevent bone loss and in turn, reduce your risk of osteoporosis and possible fractures down the line. In a way, you're really offsetting the aging process and robbing yourself of using that line in that old commercial for an emergency device hanging around your neck: “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” A good problem to have.
I have clients past the age of 60 who thought they’d never keep up with my younger clients. Some of them are now the epitome of what strength training can do for an older person, much of which not only focuses on strength, but also on balance and flexibility and can often smoke their younger cohorts.
- You’ll fall into the arms of Morpheus more readily
One of the more natural cures for sleep issues? Resistance training. What's more, you may notice you have better energy throughout your day when you take up weight training. A warning about the differences between strength training and power lifting (like body builders): Serious power lifting or intense weight lifting close to bedtime could have the opposite effect and disrupt your sleep, leaving you worn down.
- Brain fog dissipates and stress is more easily handled
The stronger you become, the more you benefit your brain. While most available research on the effects of exercise on mood focuses on aerobic activity, there are studies that cite resistance training as a remedy for anxiety and trauma. Whether you are a busy mom, an entrepreneur or a business executive, weight lifting is the best stress reliever out there.