Although I do believe running is pretty amazing for your body and mind, when it comes to weight loss.. well you need to gain the 'weights'. Here are five reasons to mix up your cardio with weights for weight loss:
- Hand and ankle weights while walking have been found to be as effective as running, no matter the speed, in burning calories. Strap on 1kg weights onto each ankle and use 1kg hand weights to start off with. Then gradually increase the weights. On a side note, 80's lycra not only makes you look gorgeous, it really helps you move faster.. ;)
- When we work our muscles hard, we are stimulating the batteries of our cells - the mitochondria. These guys love to make energy out of glucose, so this means more glucose in the cell, less in the blood, and less stored as fat! This is good news for all interested in losing fat and also great for diabetes control.
- Want to lose weight while sleeping? Resting metabolic rate refers to your speed of metabolism while at rest. Weights are shown to increase your resting metabolic rate by up to 7% so you're burning the fat long after you've finished your workout.
- Because weight control is all about promoting general health, weights are important in helping maintain bone mass, especially in women, and by keeping our bones strong we are reducing chance of injury and falls. This is important in weight loss and general health because if we can't exercise due to injury it's much harder to burn fat and can also, especially in the elderly, sometimes lead to depression.
- Resistance training, while helping you lose weight, improves performance in other exercise too, including aerobic exercise. Improving balance and coordination while strengthening your whole body is the best way to help prevent disease and injury.
While weight training is great for helping with weight loss, we always need to consider a healthy diet and combine these with medium to high intensity aerobic exercise such as interval training. Exercise + healthy food works together like Starsky and Hutch. Like Bo and Duke. Like Thelma and Louise. Bert and Ernie.
Do it all and enjoy the journey!