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Are you neglecting the most important part of your exercise routine?
Experts agree that a consistent exercise program is the key to health and quality of life. However, many people are neglecting one of the most important types of exercise.
When most people think of exercising, they think of something “cardiovascular” in nature. Perhaps they think of going for a jog or a bike ride, taking a walk or an aerobic class. Strength training is often considered to be reserved for the high school football team and the wanna-be bodybuilders. The fear of accidentally becoming muscle-bound and looking like Arnold Schwarzeneggar have kept many people from discovering the many benefits of one of the world’s most effective forms of exercise.
Proper strength training can improve your quality of life in more ways than you may have ever imagined, and is arguably more important to your daily life and health than any other form of exercise. Consider the following examples. Have you found yourself in any of the following situations?
Had trouble carrying a heavy box or suitcase up a flight of stairs?
Had a child on one hip and dropped your keys? Did you worry about your back and your knees as you knelt to pick up the keys?
Had a hard time putting that slightly oversized carry-on item into the overhead compartment on an airplane?
Thrown out your back while rearranging the furniture in the living room?
Had to say no to your child or grandchild who wanted you to pick him up, carry him or play with him because you were too tired or too weak? Maybe worried about hurting yourself?
Stopped playing your favorite sport because you just don’t feel strong enough anymore or are afraid of injury?
Think of how limiting your life can be if you don’t feel strong and confident in your physical abilities. No longer being able to play the sports or be involved in the activities that you may have enjoyed before. Strength training can change all that.
Forget the old stereotypes of musclebound men and masculine women. Think more along the lines of today’s Olympic athletes, like swimmer Michael Phelps and skier Lindsey Vonn, who have used resistance training to build strong, athletic and toned bodies.
A good resistance training program will strengthen your lower back and abs, tone and firm your entire upper body and legs, and add the lean muscle that is necessary to speed up your metabolism for greater fat loss. You can use this incredible form of exercise to build a body that not only looks and feels better, but can perform the tasks of daily living confidently, comfortably and pain-free. So the next time you are on the tennis court, at the playground or on the beach, you will be much happier knowing that you can handle the task at hand and look good doing it.
Scott Baumann is the operating partner of Fitness Together in South Miami and Coconut Grove. “Where excellence in personal training meets privacy and luxury.”