Losing Fat, Gaining Muscle
Many women believe the myth that lifting weights will make them gain weight. If you have yet to incorporate strength training into your fitness regimen and are hesitating to do so because you think you will end up gaining weight, you may be missing out on several health and fitness benefits. Strength training is essential for maintaining permanent fitness results because it can help to build muscle, boost your metabolism, and even burn fat!
Here are several important things you need to know about losing fat and gaining muscle:
Muscle is more dense than fat
Focusing more on body composition and less on the numbers on the scale can help you get some perspective about whether your fitness efforts are paying off. It’s important to remember that muscle is denser and smaller in volume that fat. This is why five pounds of muscle looks so different than five pounds of body fat on the same person. Even though the scale weight is the same, the distribution of lean muscle tissue is much more compact and attractive than bulges of fat. If you want to maintain a toned look, focus more on lean muscle gains and less on dropping numbers on the scale.
Gaining lean muscle with strength training workouts
An article by Dr. Bill Misner Ph.D. published on the American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA) website reveals that strength training workouts are essential for releasing testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH). Both men and women need these hormones to produce and maintain lean muscle tissue. Maintaining or gaining lean muscle will help you burn more calories around the clock without any exertion so it makes sense to maintain a strength training regimen.
Other benefits of strength training
In addition to helping you stay lean and strong, resistance training offers the benefit of strengthening the bones. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center reports that regular exercise is essential for treating and preventing osteoporosis. Bone is living tissue that can be strengthened with weight-bearing and weight training exercises.
Strength training can also increase your metabolic rate so that you are burning more calories during and after your workout. Research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology shows that the heavy resistance strength training among subjects increased the resting metabolic rate.
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