HEALTH & FITNESS with Les Mills
Strength Training for Weight Management and Health
Unfortunately there comes a time in life when your metabolic rate starts to slow and weight begins to creep on. This can occur as early as late 20s and it’s never a welcome development! You’re moving and eating similarly but the physique just isn’t quite the same. Once this transition starts it is suggested that weight begins to increase at approximately 1kg per year so in a decade you can find yourself 10kgs heavier even though your lifestyle is the same. Pretty unfair!
The main factor affecting metabolic rate is the amount of lean muscle mass in the body. Muscle is “metabolically active tissue” which means the body has to expend energy to maintain it. So just sitting on the couch with your lean muscle mass you’re burning more calories than a person with less lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass you can keep, the easier it is to manage your weight without requiring a super-strict diet. After all, isn’t being over 30 stressful enough without having to give up your treats too?
The best way to regain lean muscle mass is strength training. This can be with body weight, free weights or weight machines. The gym offers it all! Try out a free Weights Discovery programme, enjoy a Pump class or sign up with a trainer. As well as building lean muscle mass, weight training increases metabolic rate for hours afterwards as the body recovers. It’s the gift that
Regular strength training has significant benefits to overall health and wellbeing. It creates strong ligaments and tendons, which serve to support
our joints and decrease the likelihood of injury from other activities. Bone
density increases dramatically, reducing your risk of osteoporosis. Strength training increases muscle endurance, making aerobic exercise easier and improving sporting performance. Strength training enhances quality of life because it enables you to better perform daily activities that require lifting, pushing and pulling. It improves posture, confidence and balance. Strength training just three times a week can build a stronger, leaner more
Some women are concerned that strength training will cause them to “bulk up”. This is a myth. Even women trying to put on muscle often struggle to do so because women have less testosterone than men. Most women come to the gym wanting to drop a dress size or two. Incorporating an appropriate weight training program as part of a fitness and nutrition regime will not only drop the centimetres away but leave a leaner, firmer and more toned body.
Strength training is a key component of fitness for men and women of every age. You’ll manage your weight with less effort and improve your health and wellbeing at the same time.