You may think the only way to lose weight and to keep weight off is by doing cardio. Even though cardio is amazing for your mental, emotional, and physical health, strength training also has some amazing benefits for your health.
Unfortunately, for whatever reason, some women think that if you lift weights, you will automatically look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. This is a huge myth, and if you are avoiding strength training, you're missing out on all its benefits.
According to an article posted on Care 2
, there are seven reasons why you should start lifting weights.
What are these seven reasons you should start strength training today?
- Boosts your sex drive
- Improves your sleep
- You'll feel younger
- Strengthens your bones
- You set a good example for your kids
- Trims your waistline
- Burn calories way after you're done
Dr. Holly shares the seven reasons why you should start strength training NOW.
RadioMD Presents:The Dr. Holly Lucille Show | Original Air Date: April 1, 2015
Host: Holly Lucile, ND, RN
She's articulate. She's passionate and she tells the truth about health. She's Dr. Holly. It's time for The Dr. Holly Lucille Show.
DR. HOLLY: Hi, folks. Thank you so much for coming back and listening in. So, I want to talk about why you should start strength training. If you already are, I think that's awesome and if you're kind of scared of it, I'm going to break it down. Listen, it's going to be worth it. I was sort of one of those folks that was born an athlete, for the most part. It made a lot of people upset, especially people that do things like golfing where there's a skill and a lot of times you have to practice a lot, but I was given this sort of natural athletic ability. I will say it's God-given. I certainly work for what I have and try to keep in shape and do all of that stuff, but I have an athletic build and I was sort of born an athlete. It was very interesting to me.
I started lifting weights because of my high school regimen because I was in basketball and volleyball and track and softball even and we had, you know, Tuesdays and Thursdays, that's when we lifted weights. I saw, at that time, even as a young girl, even before college that it made me feel differently. It also sort of changed my body. Not in a bad way, either one. I was used to running around on the playground. I was used to practicing sports, but the idea of strength training came in and then the actual strength training came in and I just started to feel more confident.
I started to not get big muscles, not at all. It's really, really difficult for women, especially, and I am talking to women right now. Guys, you've got this down. You've got a lot of androgens—those are those build up sort of hormones--running through you. You can build muscle kind of quickly. Women, it's really a lot about some other things that you receive benefits from when you start strength training. Everybody knows who listens and I'm so sorry because there is a joke. It's like how do you know if you do CrossFit? Well, you don't stop talking about it. I actually don't do CrossFit. For the most part, at this point in time at my life.
I'm pushing 50 my next birthday and in my practice, what I love to talk about and what I love to understand where people are, is about being fit, alright? So, fitness across many different metrics. So, agility, mobility, endurance. Certainly strength. Balance. I'm dealing with an ailing mother right now and we're having to make some changes in her living situation because she doesn't have the strength or the agility or the balance to catch herself if she goes down for a fall . I bet you 100%, she is going to have a broken hip and there's going to be poor quality of life that ensues and tons of money for care. Prevention is the cure for me. Seriously.
So, when I think about strength training, I think about it in so many different ways than just going to the gym, doing a bicep curl, doing chest and back on one day or legs and triceps on the other day. All of that stuff. I think about it from a very holistic perspective and there are many, many different reasons why I feel everybody—even if it's your own body weight, even if that's the weight that you're using to develop strength, not only external, but internal—and across these different metrics to help in your agility, your balance, your endurance, your confidence. All of that stuff. Even if it's your own body weight, I think people need to start.
So, let me talk about some things that we know, seriously, from really, there's been clinical studies done why it's such a benefit to start strength training. I mean, I've seen people and I've seen it all the time still, hitting that treadmill, right? You get great heart rate, it increases endorphins. You get a great mood, but strength training on a regular basis? Major health benefits. Here's how it's going to improve your life. One thing people don't think about, and I've seen it happen over and over again, is that strength training can actually contribute to human growth hormone spike and, also, like the guys, a testosterone spike. Okay.
So, what does this help with? If you've got a low libido and I hear this all the time, especially in our modern day. It can help with that. It fuels your sex drive, gives you confidence and also, what does it do? It increases strength and improves your stamina. So, definitely, strength training improves your sex life. I've seen it, not only in the clinical studies, I have seen it reported from my patients, for sure. Very, very important.
Here's another big reason why I think strength training is so important. You'll sleep better. Yes. Research suggests that a half hour of strength training can ensure a more peaceful night's sleep. Exercises like, sure, bicep curls, leg presses, helped college students fall asleep 45 minutes faster and sleep through the night in one recent study. Now, that's just bicep curls and leg presses. There are so many other things that you can do.
Like I said, even with your own body weight. You can do air squats. You can do planks. You can do pushups. You can do sit ups. Those are using your own body weight to actually put resistance against the muscles that you have on your skeletal system and it really builds strength, confidence, endurance and here, a better night's sleep. I'm loving it.
Alright. Another one. You'll feel younger. Once you hit 50, you have a 1 in 3 chance of developing something called sarcopenia. This is a syndrome that causes a loss of muscle mass and strength. The best way to keep it at bay? Here's the deal. Start strength training now.
Now, this is according to a 2014 review of studies in Age and Aging. So, that's a magazine. Weight lifting will help you maintain your muscle function and strength as you age. So, that's the big thing. Sarcopenia, a loss of muscle mass and strength. This is going to keep muscle mass on—not a lot, women. This is just that sleek sort of defined, but strong, muscle that this happens. Alright? The sneaky part of the syndrome is that you really don't notice it until it comes to a point when you're so functionally impaired it's hard for you to get out of your chair or you slip and fall.
This is exactly what I'm dealing with with my mom. Alright? So, this was said by the study author, Jeffrey Stout, who's a PhD. So, that's another reason. You're going to feel younger and you're going to have the capacity to just hang on to things, right? Your integrity, for the most part. Eriksonian stage, when we get that old integrity versus despair. We want to hold onto folks' integrity for as much as we can, especially at end of life.
Also, you'll strengthen your bones. Completely true. The very first thing that I do when somebody presents with osteoporosis, osteopenia, "Hey, what do I do?" We'll talk about all those nutrients and all those drugs and everything else, but you've got to start putting pressure against your spine. Why? Because we know when you put pressure against your muscles, they build back stronger. When you put pressure against and resistance against your spine, it builds back stronger. It's not just your mass that will benefit from strength training. You've got to be able to do it for bone health, too.
Alright. Kids, actually, believe it or not, early healthy habits can go beyond eating vegetables. There was a 2014 study that over 1,400 ten to twelve years old found that strengthening activities like rock climbing, push-ups, etc., reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes. We can start this lovely strength training young. Another thing, ladies. Listen up. You're going to trim your waist line.
Twenty minutes on the treadmill or in a weight room. What's the question? That's the question? Alright. If your target is to get those abs leaner, the latter is the way to go. This is what the research says. It was published in 2014 and found that men who did 20 minutes of daily weight training had a smaller increase in age-related belly fat than men who did daily aerobic workouts. It burned. When you build muscle, it burns fat more efficiently than cardiovascular exercise. I've seen it happen over and over and over again. You'll burn calories even when you're not doing it. Having more muscle is like having a furnace, okay? You're just burning, burning, burning and burning. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue.
So, putting on muscle mass, you're lifting or body weight exercises. Just your body weight. Up, down, up down. Oompa loompa. Oompa loompa. That's what we call it, right? It will make it easier to burn off that dessert that you had. Anything that you need. Alright? So, yes. Getting on that treadmill is one thing. But, ladies, especially, you've got to start strength training. That's the thing.
Alright. Seven reasons. That's only seven. I can promise you, I'll give you more.
So, listen. I'm Dr. Holly Lucille. This is Mindful Medicine. You can follow us on Facebook or Twitter @YourRadioMD.
Stay tuned. I'll be right back.