• This entry was posted in Fitness on January 15, 2016

  • If getting in shape is your New Year’s Resolution, few workouts offer benefits like strength training. Strength training is good for your bones, helps prevent diseases, increases your energy, and helps you lose and maintain weight.

    Yes, cardio can help you shed pounds – but it’s strength training that tones your muscles, boosts your metabolism, and improves your functional strength.

    Making everyday life easier is one of strength training’s many benefits. You might just find it easier to lift groceries, do household chores, and carry your briefcase after a few weeks of strength training.

    Here are a few tips and ideas to get started with strength training this year:

    - Focus on your form. If you’re new to strength training, we’d recommend seeing a professional trainer, or a good friend who knows what they’re doing, at least once to go over the basics. Strength training isn’t something you can “wing,” and if you try to do so, you could risk injury. At the very least, poor form will hold you back from reaping the benefits of a refined strength training workout.

    - Protein. You need it. Have a protein-packed healthy snack ready to go after every intense strength-training workout. It will help your muscles recover and grow. You might be hungrier than normal when you first start strength training – be strategic about your snacks. A small bowl of lentils, beans, or nuts will tide you over more than a bowl of mac and cheese or a store-bought smoothie. View food as fuel.

    - Don’t get competitive. The only person you should be competing with is you. (It’s a cliché for a reason – it’s so true!) Don’t compare yourself to the person next to you at the bench. For all you know, they’ve been doing strength-training exercises for a decade! We all have to start somewhere. With that in mind…

    - Push yourself, but not too hard. It’s good to challenge yourself, but above all, listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, stop. If you injure yourself strength training, you might have to take weeks or even months off. Be patient!

    - Test the waters. Try out kettle bell, barre, and any classes focused on building muscles – you might find something you love, and you’re way more likely to exercise if it involves an activity you enjoy.

    - Forget the scale. Some people actually gain weight when they first start doing strength training. Don’t look for results on the scale – focus on how you feel.

    Strength training can be intimidating to fitness newbies, but the results are worth overcoming your nerves. If you approach strength training strategically, it’s one of the best things you can do for your health – not to mention a ton of fun!