January 21, 2004
Have you hit a diet plateau? Try adding strength training to your exercise routine. Believe it or not, resistance work with weights beats cardiovascular exercise in terms of overall calorie expenditure. Why? Because even though weight training burns 8-10 calories versus cardio’s 10-12, you continue to burn an additional 25% of the previous weight-lifting session’s total well after you’ve tossed in the towel.
Calorie burning bonus: For every three pounds of muscle gained through weight training (a reasonable result for three months of lifting) you raise your resting metabolic rate by 120 calories a day.
Even if weight loss is not your goal, strength training is essential to maintaining bone strength and muscle mass as we age. Think pumping iron is just for the guys? Women who skip weight lifting entirely will lose five pounds of muscle mass per decade — even if they regularly do cardio!
Don’t want to grow old gracefully? Read how weight lifting can help combat the effects of aging (click here).
Click here to read more about weight training’s particular health benefits for women.
Women worried that weight lifting will “bulk them up”? Click here for more on debunking the bulking myth.