Raising the Bar
Inspiration and statistics for this blog post come from memoir "Raising the Bar" By Candice Rainey in O, The Oprah Magazine.
Raising the Bar
If you look online for a quick and easy solution to lose weight, you will find MILLIONS of different things people will say to offer a “quick and easy” approach. In reality, it is not easy. It is hard, and it is a long process. There’s no such thing as a HEALTHY way to lose weight “quick and easy”. There’s no magic pill. Many people have the idea that if you go out and run until your legs feel like they are about to fall off you will lose weight. That may work for a few people, but that is harder to do in the long-run, and what most people do not know is that weight-lifting is the key to truly toning your body and losing weight. Putting on muscle makes your body burn more calories as well as increasing your energy levels.
Why is Muscle so important? Why isn’t just cardio enough?
Muscle is what gives your body shape and creates definition. It helps with weight loss, too, in a subdural yet profound way. The more lean muscle you have, the higher your BMR (basal metabolic rate), which is the energy your body uses while doing nothing except staying Alive. "You probably burn an extra 5 to 10 calories per day for every pound of muscle you put on. So if you add 5 lb of muscle, you may change your BMR by 25 to 50 calories per day," says Andy Galpin PhD, director of biochemistry and molecular exercise physiology Lab at California State University, Fullerton.
Why me? Couldn’t it be dangerous?
Now, you may be thinking “I don’t want to lift heavy weights.”“I don’t want to get hurt.” “A lot of women don’t lift weights, isn’t that more of a guy thing?” Research indicates that women tend to perceive weightlifting as a more masculine activity and cardio exercise as more feminine, says Andrea Mercurio, PhD, a Boston University psychologist who studies social factors that affect women's exercise choices. Weight training is universal and beneficial to anyone and everyone who does it safely and properly. You don’t have to lift extremely heavy weights to put on muscle. You can get the same benefits from lifting lighter weights for more reps as you would lifting a very heavy weight for fewer reps. It is just as beneficial and it is safer. If you want to lose weight and feel great for the rest of your life, weight training is your best option along with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio.
What qualifies as weight training? Specifics?
Weight training is defined as, “physical training that involves lifting weights.” Notice how that does NOT say “strenuous lifting of incredibly heavy objects that leaves you in pain for weeks.” Your body is a weight. Doing a push-up on your knees is a form of weight training. It is meant to challenge your body in a way that cardio can’t. Holding a 15 pound kettlebell and squatting is weight training. Doing something simple like that over and over again with proper form will make you stronger and benefit you in the long-run guaranteed.